International African American Museum opens this month
Details were released today related to opening week events for the heralded, and long awaited, International African American Museum opening to visitors June 27 in Charleston.
Notably, there will be a worship service on Thursday, June 22 and a dedication ceremony and community gathering on Saturday, June 24.
“We have waited a long time for this moment – we have many to thank and much to celebrate,” said Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO of IAAM. “It’s exciting to invite the community to join us for this historic moment. We’re preparing to open our doors with music, food, poetry, incredible visuals and words of wisdom – and to truly celebrate African American culture and its connection to and influence on the world.”
- The festivities will begin with an opening worship service on Thursday, June 22 at Morris Brown AME Church (13 Morris St., Charleston). Beginning at 6 p.m., the multi-faith celebration of IAAM’s opening will help build community, reflect on the work that led to the museum’s opening, and celebrate the long history of the African American people and their culture, which is woven into the fabric of the museum. Registration is free but required for this event.
- Speakers include Matthews, Bishop Samuel Green, the Rev. DeMett Jenkins (director of education and engagement for faith-based communities at IAAM) among others.
- Then on Saturday, June 24, a dedication ceremony and community watch event in Marion Square will bring visitors and members of the community together for a live simulcast of the ceremonies and presentations taking place at the museum and on-site at Marion Square (329 Meeting St., Charleston). Presented by Boeing, the watch celebration will include live performances from the African American Songbook featuring a 12-piece band, local and big-name musicians and artists, and refreshments from Black-owned food trucks. Explore Charleston will host a Mobile Visitor Center and hospitality tent to provide guests with visitor guides, recommend activities around the Charleston area, and local swag.
Boeing South Carolina’s DreamLearners, an educational program that provides students with opportunities to learn about careers in STEM, advanced manufacturing, and aerospace, will also host a celebration event in the square. Led by the Boeing Black Employee Association, volunteers will help lead the interactive STEM-based DreamLearners programming, which will feature paper airplane building, flight competitions with free Boeing swag, and additional giveaway items. Registration for the public is not required. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.
About the IAAM
The International African American Museum explores the history, culture, and impact of the African American journey on Charleston, on the nation, and on the world, shining light and sharing stories of the diverse journeys, origin, and achievements of descendants of the African Diaspora. Across 11 galleries and a memorial garden with art, objects, artifacts, and multi-media interaction, IAAM is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history. As a result, the museum will stand as one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as it evolves today. The mission of IAAM is to honor the untold stories of the African American journey at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf and beyond. For more information, please visit iaamuseum.org or call 843.872.5352.