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International African American Museum and Bank of America partner to broaden access to art

CRBJ Biz Wire //October 2, 2023//

International African American Museum and Bank of America partner to broaden access to art

CRBJ Biz Wire //October 2, 2023//

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Charleston, S.C.– The International African American Museum (IAAM), which officially opened late June to welcome guests and community members to experience the full story of the African American journey, has made community partnerships and shared visions part of the planning. Partners like Bank of America have provided direct investments toward construction and operations costs as well as continued programming support.

Bank of America’s most recent involvement focuses on providing greater access to cultural experiences, academic resources, and building pathways to employment through workforce development that collectively builds a foundation for economic mobility.

“We believe the arts have the ability to connect people and communities, and help local economies thrive. The Bank of America partnership has opened doors for many to witness and experience the arts as a way to enrich their lives and to broaden their cultural experiences. For that and more, we’re very grateful,” noted Malika Pryor Martin, chief engagement and learning officer at IAAM.

In an effort to increase access and decrease obstacles to participating in arts and cultural experiences, IAAM has joined Bank of America as a new partner in the bank’s Museums on Us program, which offers free general admission on the first full weekend of each month to Bank of America, Merrill and Bank of America Private Bank credit and debit cardholders, at some of the nation’s greatest museums and cultural attractions, which now includes IAAM.

Bank of America was the presenting sponsor of the first special exhibit on view at IAAM, Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth., a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian that presented the history of a nation through the lens of significant and iconic African American men in a historical and cultural landscape. The bank is also the presenting sponsor of the special exhibit currently on view from Charleston-based artist Fletcher Williams III, When It Rains It Shines (Aug. 31 – Dec. 3, 2023). Williams constructs a labyrinth of personal memories, rituals, and sacred hideaways using sculpture, sound, and light.

Similarly, access to quality education and skills training is critical for driving the Lowcountry’s economic growth. The bank and IAAM collaborated this past summer to provide a local student with hands-on work experience as part of the Bank of America Student Leaders Program, which pairs local high school students with nonprofit organizations for an eight-week internship.

“Partnering with the International African American Museum to provide broader access to cultural resources, academic experiences and youth employment is part of our approach to fostering economic mobility and equitable progress,” said Mark Munn, president, Bank of America Charleston-Hilton Head. “These investments demonstrate how we are taking action together with our community’s nonprofit partners to help advance economic opportunity and racial equality.”

In 2018, Bank of America made its first investment to IAAM with a $1 million grant as part of a shared commitment to improving the lives of individuals, families, and entire communities through access to cultural experiences and employment opportunities to help create a pathway to economic mobility.

The International African American Museum (IAAM) explores the history, culture, and impact of the African American journey on Charleston, the nation, and the world, shining light and sharing stories of the diverse journeys, origin, and achievements of descendants of the African Diaspora. Across eleven galleries and a memorial garden with art, objects, artifacts, and multi-media interaction, IAAM is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history. As a result, the museum will stand as one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as it evolves today. The mission of IAAM is to honor the untold stories of the African American journey at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf and beyond. For more information, please visit iaamuseum.org or call 843-872-5352.

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