Local Artist: SA Bennett
HISTORY OF DAAC
It began in 2021 when three African Art collections
The organization is pursuing options for a permanent home that will rotate displays of its own, ever evolving collection(s), as well as visiting collections. It will also have traveling exhibits, e.g., for displays at partner organizations such as educational institutions, libraries, etc. DAAC expects to be able to teach visitors about the extraordinary value, influence and contributions of African arts and culture to the world.
The center’s activities will be “of” and” by” the community and various target audiences. It will build on the broad base of collaborations Dr. Hamilton has already nurtured, seeking participation and ideas from DAAC Advisors, partner organizations (Black artists and groups, educational institutions and their students of all ages, non-profits), neighborhood organizations, civic groups, elected officials, etc. DAAC will strive to give participants a sense of ownership in creating personally meaningful experiences.
The center will have a strong educational focus, expressed through the conduct of participatory classes and workshops. It will offer student internships and opportunities both to be mentored and to serve as mentors. It will utilize all variations of experiential, artistic expression – art, dance, music, digital technology, etc. – to convey its message. It will provide space for artists and authors to work and perform. The intent is for these exposures to influence participants’ and visitors’ personal lives and/or their artistic and creative impulses. The success of the Center will empower other African-American collectors, artists, performers, and authors to grow their organizations and their works. The center will influence artists to include traditional and contemporary African art concepts into their works and performances. 1 November 2021 Schools will find this center a source of many experiences and resources that enhance their curriculum, deepen research and technology skills, and motivate their students.
VEHICLE FOR EQUITY
The center will utilize African art as the context for difficult and complex conversations around many topics, viewed through an equity lens. It will be a place for all people to learn and be moved to stimulate dialogues about our interconnectedness and similarities. It is DAAC’s hope that people will feel a sense of participation in a place that leads people away from their ordinary lives, that entices them to embrace learning about the bigger world, and to use that knowledge to make a better, more inclusive world.
The center will grow organically, hosting and creating exhibits and programming as envisioned above. As it matures, it will attract both tourists and locals. For example, in Washington, D.C, the Smithsonian African Arts Museum is a major attraction and is the fourth most visited Smithsonian Museum there. Over time, revenue-generation will increase with DAAC’s reputation for substantive, original and ever-changing exhibits and projects.
PLACE FOR RESEARCH
The center will provide research opportunities that are immersed in African and African-American art, literature and history. As noted, the center will house Dr. Hamilton’s extensive library. Examples of items that are included are 1960s newspapers and magazines (Black Panther papers, Muhammad Speaks, Black Scholar, Negro Digest) and the Journal of Negro History (Carter G. Woodson) from 1916-1970. The collection includes a volume authored by Dr. Hamilton, “African People’s Contributions to World Civilizations: Shattering the Myths Vol., which dispels myths about African people and their descendants and traces the worldwide African artistic and cultural influences culminating in the 21st century.
ART & CULTURAL CENTER
The center will add a much needed and under-represented art form to the Metro area’s assemblage of art venues. With few, if any, similar African Art collections located between Chicago and the West Coast, DAAC aligns well with and will enhance Denver’s already burgeoning Black Arts Movement. The center expects to cultivate many more experiential events, with participants and partners, utilizing elements of the Hamilton collection and others that it will attract.