LaNesha DeBardelaben

Dear AAAM Members,

Wellness is the top priority of the hour, and I pray you each are well. The novel COVID–19 outbreak has disrupted the flow of life and the operations of so many of our institutions. Black museums are bastions of heritage and beacons of hope, even when our physical doors are mandated to temporarily close due to a pandemic. We are in this together, supporting one another and standing in solidarity with strength.

With the outbreak first occurring in the United States here in Seattle, I thank those colleagues that checked on me and the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) early. Your thoughtfulness is deeply appreciated. The outbreak has since spread across the country and you all are facing the tough realities of temporary closures, cancelling programs, postponing fundraisers, and working remotely amid uncertainty. As an AAAM team, we serve together and we stand together. Do let me know if there is anything I can do to be of support to you and your institutions. The leaders of the museums community here in Seattle have banded together in incredible ways, and it is making a difference, including lobbying for financial relief as a result of the loss of revenue we are experiencing due to the closures. As sacred spaces with noble missions that preserve the stories of a people who overcome, Black museums in particular, from coast to coast, offer resilient hope.

Let’s keep our lines of communication and collaboration open during this time. We thank each of you for being valiant in your duty to AAAM, to your institutions, and to the Black museums field at large.


LaNesha DeBardelaben signature

LaNesha DeBardelaben | Board President | Association of African American Museums

Tell Congress: Include Museums in COVID-19 Economic Relief.  CLICK HERE