Date and Time
Feb 4, 2020 6:30 pm
14th & V
Busboys and Poets Books welcomes NMAAHC Founding Director, Lonnie G Bunch III to discuss his new book "A Fool's Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture during the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump". The author will be in conversation with Democracy Now! Host, Amy Goodman!
In its first four months of operation, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture surpassed one million visits and quickly became a cherished, vital monument to the African American experience. And yet this accomplishment was never assured. In A Fool's Errand, founding director Lonnie Bunch tells his story of bringing his clear vision and leadership to bear to realize this shared dream of many generations of Americans.
Outlining the challenges of site choice, architect selection, building design, and the compilation of an unparalleled collection of African American artifacts, Bunch also delves into his personal struggles--especially the stress of a high-profile undertaking--and the triumph of establishing such an institution without mentors or guidebooks to light the way. His memoir underscores his determination to create a museum that treats the black experience as an essential component of every American's identity.
This inside account of how Bunch planned, managed, and executed the museum's mission informs and inspires not only readers working in museums, cultural institutions, and activist groups, but also those in the nonprofit and business worlds who wish to understand how to succeed--and do it spectacularly--in the face of major political, structural, and financial challenges.
LONNIE G. BUNCH III
Historian, author, curator and educator, Lonnie G. Bunch, III is the 14th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum complex, who was appointed in June 2019.
Prior to assuming this position, Bunch was the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. In this position he promoted the museum’s mission to help audiences see African American history as American history, and provided strategic leadership in areas of fundraising, collections, and academic and cultural partnerships.
Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, a national, daily, independent, award-winning news program airing on over 1,400 public television and radio stations worldwide.