2016 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
AUGUST 3 - 6, 2016 | RIVERSIDE, CA
In August 1992 I attended my first AAAM conference in Dayton, Ohio. My first plenary session was graced with a keynote address by Congressman Gus Savage (D-IL), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee who held up the legislation for what would become the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture. Congressman Savage reasoned that African Americans should demand a new museum facility, with grounds and off-street parking on the Mall. Counter to Congressman Savages reasoning for holding the legislation in committee was Claudine Brown’s warning that holding the legislation may kill the bill and lose support. She countered that Savage’s reasons could be addressed later in the process. This was my first AAAM conference and first encounter with Claudine Brown. I had great respect for her work in museums and foundations and considered her a leader in the field. During my first conference as President of AAAM in 2012 I invited Claudine to be the keynote speaker in Baltimore. Her talk was charged with insights about the work of museums and broader emerging issues on the horizon. She challenged museums to look beyond traditional museum service and consider taking on new perspectives dealing with social issues, natural resources, sustainable strategies and practice. Claudine was always a forecaster for museums, providing a clear picture of the road ahead. She understood what museums needed and how best to position museums to remain relevant institutions. On behalf of the Board of Directors and members of AAAM I extend condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Claudine Brown. She will truly be missed but her presence among us will never be forgotten.
Click to read the Smithsonian Torch: In Memoriam: Claudine K. Brown