February Nonprofit Spotlight

African American Museum in Philadelphia

In honor of Black History Month, we have selected African American Museum in Philadelphia as February’s Nonprofit Spotlight!

Who They Are:

The African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) brings diverse communities together in greater appreciation of the Black experience through the combined narrative of art, culture and historical witness.

Founded in 1976 in celebration of the nation’s Bicentennial, AAMP is the first institution funded and built by a major municipality to preserve, interpret, and exhibit the heritage of African Americans. Throughout its evolution, the Museum has objectively interpreted and presented the achievements and aspirations of African Americans from pre-colonial times to the current day.

The Museum is committed to telling the story of African Americans in all its permutations: family life, the Civil Rights movement, arts and entertainment, sports, medicine, architecture, politics, religion, law, and technology. AAMP currently houses four galleries and an auditorium, each of which offer exhibitions anchored by one of our three dominant themes: the African Diaspora, the Philadelphia Story, and the Contemporary Narrative.

What kind of support does AAMP need the most right now?

Since closing the doors of it galleries in March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, AAMP has continued to serve its community online. The Museum is carrying the essential expenses of artists and staff so that it is able to be a voice and virtual gathering place in service of its mission during this challenging time. Becoming a member is a great way to support AAMP with crucial operating funds and experience the many programs and exhibits it offers.

What is one thing you wish people knew about AAMP that they may not?

The story behind AAMP’s founding is an important example of Black activism in Philadelphia’s history. The systemic racial injustices and inequities around governmental and philanthropic funding that AAMP’s founding group faced over 40 years ago to get the Museum built are issues still loudly resonant today.

What is the most unique donation AAMP has received?

There are many interesting and powerful works in AAMP’s collection but about eight or nine years ago, the Museum received a donation of a portrait bust casted in bronze from a well-known collector. It stands about three feet high and is very heavy. The subject of the piece is actor, artist, and activist Paul Robeson, but it bears no resemblance whatsoever to Paul Robeson, so AAMP has not yet had it on display.

For more information, feel free to visit their website: aampmuseum.org/.