The Future of Museums Dialogue Series
The world is rapidly changing around us, and it is questionable if the old frameworks for the development of programs and space programs for museums will still be relevant tomorrow. What would museums for the 21st century become if we were to we take this unprecedented time to explore new missions, visions, and (space) programs for existing and new institutions? Join us for an online series of live conversations as museum expert David van der Leer, Principal of DVDL DD, speaks with museum professionals from around the US and beyond.
In this week's installment, Van der Leer will be joined in conversation by Damion L. Thomas, PhD, Sports Curator at Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the Museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts and nearly 100,000 individuals have become members. The Museum opened to the public on September 24, 2016, as the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
Damion L. Thomas, PhD, Sports Curator, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
David van der Leer, Principal, DVDL DD
Damion Thomas is the museum curator of sports for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. He earned a Ph.D. in United States history at UCLA. Prior to joining the museum, he was an assistant professor at the University of Maryland—College Park and the University of Illinois—Urbana/Champaign, where he taught courses that focused on sports in United States history, sports and U.S. race relations, and sports and black masculinity. He is the author of Globetrotting: African American Athletes and Cold War Politics.
David van der Leer is a consultant, curator, educator, moderator, researcher, strategist, and writer. He is the principal of DVDL DD, a New York City and Rotterdam-based agency of cultural forecasters, institutional strategists, and design matchmakers, where he advises institutions, government agencies, corporations, and individuals in reinventing the institutions of yesterday and building the most inspirational institutions of tomorrow. Along with his consulting work, David van der Leer is a professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation where he teaches a course called (Re)Programming Museums.
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