Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Inside NAAM

This morning Barbara Thomas took us on a tour of the Northwest African American Museum and let me take some picture to share with the community. Here are some shots in case you have been curious to see what is brewing inside of that old brick Colman building.

At the entrance, outside will be a sculpture/installation garden. A cafe will also open from the inside to the outdoors.

Once you walk in the main door, you will pass a gift shop on the right and a cafe on the left, then an information booth. The first room of the museum will be the Journey room. Barbara described it as a street, long and narrow. As you walk along the Journey room, you will find photographs, artifacts and multimedia that tell the story of the journey of Black Americans to Seattle from other parts of the US. A globe in the museum will also map out people's journeys beyond the American continent to the various places of origin. This will stretch from the past to the modern immigrant journeys.

Then there is the main exhibit room. One exciting work that is already scheduled for display is a mural by Jacob Lawrence, depicting George Washington Bush’s journey by wagon across the continent from Missouri to the Northwest.

There will also be a community workspace to rent for workshops and classes, a multimedia room to conduct research and hold presentations and a large Legacy room (last image) for big lectures and events.

And there will also be affordable apartments on the second floor. They have some of the old brick walls exposed and amazing views of downtown and Mt. Baker.

I have only scratched the surface in this description, but this is just to give you an idea of what is to come. Barbara was very open to sharing the museum progress with the community.

Hearing the plans for the museum and seeing it inside made me really understand what a contribution it will be to this neighborhood. There will be events to attend, projects to work on, art to see and a coffee shop all just a walk away. This will be a true cultural center and our mural seems to fit perfectly with the mission of the museum. The mural project is also a great opportunity to keep building our relationship with NAAM.

Barbara mentioned that there are some volunteer opportunities for folks who would like to get more involved with the museum. NAAM will open in Spring, but the volunteer applications are available online here.

No comments: