In 2015, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture will open on the National Mall in Washington, DC. One of the museum’s permanent exhibits, Musical Crossroads, will reflect African American music making from its earliest manifestations to the present day. Musical Crossroads aims to validate the influence of African-American music on American culture and provide visitors with the framework to appreciate African-American music as a vehicle of cultural survival and expression, musical innovation and social progress. Through the exhibition’s content, visitors will develop an understanding of the crucial role African-American music making has played in determining the aesthetic and cultural impact of American music production on the domestic and global stage.
In this lecture Dr. Dwandalyn Reece, Curator of Music and Performing Arts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture, will outline the intellectual themes of the Museum’s music exhibition, discuss the challenges and opportunities in presenting a topic of such complexity and breadth in an exhibition format and explore the significant impact music can play in fulfilling the mission and goals of a national museum. She will also discuss how the history of rhythm and blues and soul serve to interpret a variety of narratives of African-American music history.
Dwan Reece is Curator of Music and Performing Arts at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture. At NMAAHC she is responsible for research and collecting in the area of music and the performing arts. This summer she worked with staff at the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to develop the 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival program, Rhythm & Blues: Tell It Like It Is. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, Dr. Reece held the positions of senior program officer at the National Endowment for the Humanities, Assistant Director of the Louis Armstrong House and Archives, Chief Curator at the Brooklyn Historical Society and Curator at the Motown Historical Museum in Detroit.
Tuesday, March 27, 7 p.m.
Ruth Edwards Music Hall, Edwards Music Building,
North Carolina Central University (1801 Fayetteville St.)