Nonprofit Spotlight: The African American Museum of Dallas | Atmos Energy
Nonprofit Spotlight: African American Museum of Dallas

Nonprofit Spotlight: The African American Museum of Dallas

Nonprofit Spotlight
February 1, 2021

The African American Museum in Dallas is the only one of its kind in the southwestern region of the nation devoted to preserving and displaying African American artistic, cultural, and historical materials. It has one of the largest African American folk art collections in the United States, combining the research of its world-renowned staff with its award-winning design expertise to create high-quality exhibitions and events. 

Since its founding in 1974 at Bishop College as the Southwest Research Center and Museum for the Study of African-American Life and Culture, the African American Museum has collected documents, artifacts, publications, and a plethora of resources that document, preserve, and tell the story of the African and African American experience. Currently, the African American Museum houses over 60 archival collections, over 200 African artifacts, and over 150 paintings and sculptures. 

Leading the way in its efforts to inspire and educate the community, two of the most recently acclaimed exhibitions include “The Paradox of Liberty: Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello” and “The Kinsey African American Art and History Collection.”  These two exhibitions attracted over 75,000 visitors to the museum highlighted the museum’s success in attracting a diverse audience from the local community and visitors to Dallas. 

Located in the heart of Dallas at Fair Parkrecent research determined that the museum sits very close to the same site the Hall of Negro Life was built to display and celebrate the contributions of African Americans contributions to the state of Texas and the United States during the Texas Centennial of 1936. The Hall of Negro Life featured African American artists, exhibitions that displayed the contributions of African Americans to science and agriculture, and their unparalleled and critical contributions to the nation’s development in general. Unfortunately, at the end of the Texas Centennial, the Hall of Negro Life was torn down and forgotten by Dallas residents and visitors to Fair Park. Thus, the African American Museum’s success in exhibiting and preserving the history and culture of African Americans in Dallas fills the vacuum left by the destruction of the Hall of Negro Life and provides a new legacy upon which the city of Dallas and the state of Texas can build.   

For more than a decadeAtmos Energy has donated more than $100,000 to the African American Museum to support: 

  • Summer literacy and arts programs: focused on teaching STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) principles through artistic expression to students of all ages.   
  • Museum exhibitions: unique collections that convey the often untold story of African Americans’ achievements and contributions 
  • African American Museum Gala: annual fundraising event that helps generate critical resources to support museum operations, art exhibitions, and youth summer educational programs. 

 “Giving back to the community is part of who we are as a company, and our partnership with the African American Museum is a rare opportunity to support the preservation of our incredible history and enhance summer programs for Dallas students,” said Oric Walker, Atmos Energy vice president of public affairs and a museum trustee. “The African American Museum does more than most people know, existing as both an institutional and communal enterprise that exhibits the brilliant moments of life and culture experienced by African Americans.” 

To learn more about the African American Museum, please visit https://aamdallas.org/.