The MSU Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is one of four organizations selected to take part in a project through the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to expand the visibility of underrepresented local elder African American artisans. The project—Cultural Sustainability and Legacy Planning for Craft Artists—was conceived to assist makers in safeguarding their stories while building relationships among artists, between elders and youth, and with local cultural institutions. The Michigan African American Craft Legacy Project (AACI) is led by Dr. Marsha MacDowell, Dr. Liv Furman, and Natasha Miller, in collaboration with two undergraduate students from the Department of African American & African Studies (AAAS) and two graduate students from the College of Education.
The project will culminate in two public-facing workshops held at the MSU Detroit Center on February 15 & 22 from 6-8 pm. These workshops are designed to engage and further develop Black artists and community members’ knowledge and skills in documentation, archiving, and community engagement using digital media. The events are free and open to the public; however, pre-registration is recommended. Light refreshments will be served. Registration link coming soon!
Both gatherings will be documented, and artifacts shared on the Quilt Index website, providing a lasting testament to the project’s impact. The Michigan AACI Project exemplifies a commitment to preserving cultural heritage, fostering intergenerational relationships, and amplifying the voices of underrepresented artisans.
The project is led by the MSU Museum in collaboration with the Michigan Traditional Arts Program, the MSU Department of African American and African Studies, and the Quilt Index/Matrix: Center for Digital Humanities and Social Sciences, MSU with additional in-kind support from MSU University Outreach and Engagement.