Museum of African American History

Boston, MA   |  www.maah.org

Mission

The Museum of African American History inspires all generations to embrace and interpret the authentic stories of New Englanders of African descent, and those who found common cause with them, in their quest for freedom and justice. Through its historic buildings, collections, and programs, the Museum expands cultural understanding and promotes dignity and respect for all.

Ruling year info

1983

Principal Officer

Ms Marita Rivero

Main address

14 Beacon Street, Suite 401

Boston, MA 02108 USA

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EIN

04-2429556

NTEE code info

History Museums (A54)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Freedom Rising Youth Education Programs

MAAH's Freedom Rising Youth Education
Programs actively involve students (grades 3-12+) in interpretive activities that
allow diverse young people to explore their
understanding of the past in ways that expand their cultural, historical, writing,
public-speaking, and visual literacy skills. For young people, learning about
important individuals, events, and ways of life within the eighteenth and
nineteenth-century African American community—and learning in the actual places
where the Boston community worked, studied, gathered, and advocated for
freedom—is a powerful experience. Interpreting each MAAH exhibit in
depth, the educational programs described in detail below involve, on average,
2,850 students each year, through a multi-disciplinary approach to the
students' own and the country's history. (We tailor the activities to specific
grade levels, also meeting Massachusetts Social Studies Framework and Common
Core standards.) The majority of participating students are from Boston Public
Schools, but a significant number attend other area public schools, or come to
MAAH through a variety of local/regional after-school or summer programs
involving disadvantaged youth.

"Giant
Steps in a Small Place" (grades 3-6): This workshop
gives students the chance to experience what it was like to attend school in
the mid-1800s through live interpretation at MAAH's Abiel Smith School in
Boston, the oldest US building built as a public school for African Americans.
An early teacher there was Susan Paul, and a MAAH educator plays her role for
students, so they learn how children would have been taught to read, spell, calculate,
and recite nearly two hundred years ago, and can compare the academic subjects
they study today.

"Dig and Discover”
(grades 3-12): In a hands-on workshop tailored to grade-level, students become archaeologists
as they examine and identify artifacts based on findings from archeological
studies at MAAH’s Boston and Nantucket campuses. Students are challenged
to estimate an object’s time period and make inferences about its
use. They craft a story using the artifacts as evidence, and then learn
further facts about the lives of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century African
Americans. Depending on grade level, these workshops may be offered at schools
and include components that build STEM skills, such as sorting objects by time
period, classifying artifacts, and/or using archaeological methodology at
simulated dig sites.

"They
Spoke Here, Abolitionists' Debates" (grades 7-12): Educators and students select from
several nineteenth-century topics that still have relevance today, such as
segregation, voting rights, quality of education, or citizenship. Students then
prepare for their visit to MAAH in small groups, researching assigned debate
positions through primary-source evidence packets provided by MAAH. The
students learn debating rules as they prepare arguments for both sides, also
referring to historic meetings of antislavery societies before the Civil War.
The students then compose written versions of their own positions, and deliver
and defend these positions in the African Meeting House, where many of the same
debates occurred over 150 years ago.

Population(s) Served

Since
2013, our successful Teachers Summer Institutes (TSI) have complemented MAAH's youth education programs as intensive three-day trainings based on MAAH collections, plus the
expertise of scholars, to help educators from Boston Public Schools and Bunker
Hill Community College, among other schools, incorporate African American history into existing
curricula. Generally, about half (20-30) of TSI graduates return to MAAH with their students during the following academic year. The TSI serve educators across grade levels and disciplines (history, ESOL, and English). MAAH's education team develops the overall approach of each year's TSI around a theme correlated to MAAH's current exhibit and allows staff, scholars, and participants to explore the rich, complex, and diverse history of African Americans.

Population(s) Served

Exhibits researched, created, and mounted by MAAH offer a new lens on available scholarship, opening significant insights into American history. Annually serving close to 30,000 students, educators, and local,
regional, or international visitors, MAAH places deeply significant
history in the context of current social, economic, and political landscapes through our yearly exhibits. Recent exhibits have ranged from an examination of black publishing over two
centuries, to the heroic Civil War sacrifices of the 54th Colored Regiment. The current "Picturing Frederick Douglass: The Most Photographed American of the 19th Century" is scheduled to close in early 2018.

Douglass believed that the new technology of photography
could counteract the period’s negative, dehumanizing images of African
Americans. In this first major exhibition of Douglass’ photographic portraits,
MAAH reintroduces America’s first black celebrity.The four historic properties stewarded by MAAH tell many stories of the people who created and used them. Their stories, and their relation to the historic architecture, will be the principal subject of MAAH's next planned exhibition, "In the Spirit of Revolution, They Built a Place: African Americans in Beacon Hill, Boston and Five Corners, Nantucket (1776-1855)," which will draw together MAAH's National Historic Landmarks, on our two campuses. "They Built a Place" exhibition will read cultural heritage into these buildings. The exhibit will critically examine each site, including the process of renovation and preservation, and the role these places have played in the formation of early African American society and culture. Through an in-depth analysis of the architectural history of the two African Meeting Houses, alongside other structures in their respective neighborhoods, MAAH will highlight the intentional commitment of people descended from multiple African cultures to create a unified community and place of their own. The places these African Americans designed and built affirmed their rights to freedom and full participation as citizens of the young United States. MAAH's exhibit will also feature multiple strategies developed by people in these two neighborhoods, and gathering within the two African Meeting Houses, to pursue liberty, justice, and human dignity--ideals that remain highly relevant through the twentieth century to the present day.

Population(s) Served

MAAH has capital priorities for the preservation and restoration of its historic sites in Boston and Nantucket. Current priorities include: African Meeting House, Boston A carved entry signCustom Signage for Funder and Sponsor RecognitionWoca Oil for meeting room floors  Abiel Smith School, BostonReplace the elevator liftExterior and interior painting  Nantucket Higginbotham HouseRehabilitate interior of main houseCollections storage  African Meeting House Nantucket Repair roof and interior ceilingRepair or replace window lintels, framesPaint ceiling and window

Population(s) Served

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Financials

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Operations

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Museum of African American History

Board of directors
as of 09/05/2018
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms Cathleen Stone

City of Boston

Term: 2015 - 2017

Roxann Cooke

Eastern Bank

Cathleen Stone

City of Boston

Clayton Samuels

ConvergEx Group

Reginald Champagne

Squire Sanders (US) LLP

Paul Karoff

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Gerald Cox

Cox Associates

Sylvia Stevens-Edouard

Liberty Mutual

Rebecca Sykes

Phillips Academy

James Hoyte

Harvard University

David Garrison

Community Volunteer

Lee Pelton

Emerson College

Kenneth Greenberg

Suffolk University

Marzuq Muhammad

Trinity Financial

Marcy Gefter

Harvard Business School

Stanley Onuoha

Bank of America