Minnesota African American Heritage Museum reopens Aug. 18 with timely exhibits, precautions

Steve Floyd/MSR Coventry Cowens, interim operations coordinator at MAAHMG)

The Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery (MAAHMG) reopens August 18, 2020, after being temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The museum has implemented new procedures to comply with recommendations by the State of Minnesota, City of Minneapolis, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Masks are required and the number of visitors is limited to accommodate social distancing. Admission is still free, but tickets can be reserved on Eventbrite.

“This is a historic time in our country and the museum has an important role to play in documenting history and encouraging conversations about systemic racism and how we move forward with solutions to address the problems,” said MAAHMG co-founder and curator Tina Burnside.

New exhibitions documenting the uprising sparked by the killing of George Floyd will be on display at the museum. “Gather In His Name: From Protests to Healing for George Floyd” is a portrait photography collection by John Steitz.

“Un-Heard,” is a video compilation of performing artists expressing the emotions of the movement featuring improv monologue by Alexis Camille; dance by LaTanya Cannady, Suzette Jornae, Naysha Glover and Ahzreanah Harris; spoken word by Joe Davis, Hannah Hagen, Sandrine Sugi, and Nico Moore; and sound designer and vocalist Andrea (Queen Drea) Reynolds.

Also on display is photography by Jabari Holloman; a documentary of the first day of the protest in Minneapolis created by Unicorn Riot; and a plywood art mural created by DeSean Hollie that covered the window of an Uptown business.

There is also the Black Lives Matter mural on Plymouth Avenue organized by the museum and created by 16 artists: Sean Phillips, Timi Bliss, Beverly Tipton Hammond, Kelly Brown, Peyton Scott Russell, Brittany Moore, Donna Ray, A. Drew Hammond, Christopheraaron Deanes, Melodee Strong, Christopher E. Harrison, Reggie LeFlore, DeSean Hollie, Broderick Poole, Lissa Karpeh, and Kenneth Caldwell. A video of the making of the BLM mural, shot by Georgia Fort, is currently on YouTube.

The museum also presents “A Reckoning: 100 Years after the Lynchings in Duluth,” an exhibition in collaboration with In Black Ink, marking the 100th anniversary of the lynching of Elias Clayton, Elmer Jackson, and Isaac McGhie in 1920. The exhibitions put the current events in context to show that the uprising in Minnesota did not happen in a vacuum, but is the result of unaddressed racial inequality.

Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery is located at 1256 Penn Avenue N., Fourth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55411. Admission is free. Free parking is available in the ramp. Find more info: https://www.maahmg.org.