The Palm Springs Art Museum will celebrate Black History Month in February with a student performance, concert, historical conversation, and presentation and public lecture with a local artist.
Executive director and chief executive Adam Lerner told the Desert Sun that the plan for Black History Month was proposed by school and community programs manager Hilary Roberts.
“I thought it was a great idea and it aligns with my vision to have deep relationships with communities and to make public programs that connect us to diverse communities,” Lerner said.
On February 3, the James O. Jessie Desert Highland Unity Center Drill Team and Drum Team will kick off with an opening reception, celebrating black artists on display and highlights from the museum’s collection.
Local R&B and smooth jazz band The E&J Movement will perform on February 10. The band will play Motown classics and share the story behind the songs. Some members of the group have performed and participated in recording sessions with numerous artists from Detroit’s legendary R&B label.
Director of Education and Associate Curator of the Palm Springs Historical Society, Renee Brown, will present a timeline and historical perspective on decisions made by federal, state, and local governments, and the Cahuilla Indians, on the development of the city of Palm Springs.
On February 24, Desert Hot Springs artist Deborah McDuff Williams will give a public lecture titled “People Who Filled Their Seats” about Black American historical figures who paved the way for those who “filled important seats” in black history. His work will also be exhibited on the main level of the museum.
The events are part of the museum’s Free Thursday Nights program, supported by the City of Palm Springs, but all visitors must make a reservation online at psmuseum.org. Proof of vaccination is required for all clients.
Lerner, who took up his post at the museum last summer, made a presentation for donors at the Annenberg Theater last December. He shared plans for future programming, which includes an upcoming exhibit by Howard Smith, a black U.S. Army veteran and artist who has lived and worked in Finland.
During a Q&A session with clients, he was asked if there was an outreach strategy to attract new members of the community and he replied that the target audience was current residents of the Coachella Valley. , including those who are “under-represented”.
“I come from a privileged place, we need to be humble and reach out to less privileged audiences,” Lerner said. “It’s a part of us that currently lives here. But there’s also the second part, which is ‘What is the valley becoming?’ I feel like it’s very important to me too.”
Desert Sun reporter Brian Blueskye covers arts and entertainment. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bblueskye. Support local news, subscribe to The Desert Sun.