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Tuesdays, September 28 – November 16 (8 Weeks), 6:30 – 8:00 PM – This eight-part lecture series is an introduction to the visual art of African American artists and makers, as well as an introduction to the visual art of the African Diaspora. Here +54 is an ode to African American art, and the visual art and material culture of the 54 countries on the African continent.

The online genealogy company,, helps people build their family trees. Whenever a small discovery is made, it’s called a “leaf.” From the representation of Black female figures in the works of 19th Century French modernist painter Edouard Manet, to the exceptional lens-based brilliance of contemporary American artist Carrie Mae Weems, Here +54 can be a “leaf,” on the way to building a remarkable tree of understanding and embrace of African American and African Diaspora visual expression, which across the globe, has been an instrumental agent of triumph and change.

*Four out of the eight sessions of this class will be “Masterclasses.” Each “Masterclass” features a discussion with a noted scholar, art historian, or curator, with emphasis on a particular exhibition or genre of African American or African Diasporian cultural expression that reflects their scholarly focus and expertise. Masterclass lecturers include:

  • Dartmouth professor Dr. Kimberly Juanita Brown
  • Dr. Christa Clarke, the Newark Museum’s former Curator of the Arts of Africa and Senior Curator of the Arts of Africa and the Americas
  • Dr. Allen F. Roberts, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of World Arts and Cultures at UCLA
  • Dr. James Smethurst, Professor in the UMass Amherst W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies

Instructor: Kymberly Newberry holds an M.A. in African American Studies from UMass Amherst, where she is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. She is the founder of “Siggi Dimanche,” an annual event that celebrates the 31 French-speaking African countries and the French-speaking African Diaspora; is the host of the podcast Chopping Okra; and has published several articles on art and culture in The Massachusetts Review.

Location: Springfield Museums (D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts), 21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA (free parking)

Option I – Eight Classes: $120 for JCC and Springfield Museum members, $140 general public
Option II – Choice of Any Four Classes: $65 JCC and Springfield Museum members, $75 general public

Co-sponsored by the Museum School at the Springfield Museums