SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM RELEASES IMPRESSIVE LINEUP OF UPCOMING SPRING EVENTS

SAVANNAH, GA – FEB. 28, 2022 The Savannah African Art Museum has several impressive upcoming events on its spring agenda, including being a participant at the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System’s Youth Art Month event, hosting an “Exploring the Role of African Queen Mothers” workshop in celebration of Women’s History Month, and hosting another workshop coinciding with their newly launched cowrie shell exhibit, “Exploring the Use of Cowrie Shells as Currency.”

Savannah-Chatham County Public School System’s Youth Art Month event: Savannah African Art Museum Education, Community Outreach Liaison Lisa Jackson will have a table at the event, engaging the community about the Museum’s West and Central African collection and distributing unique African motif bookmarks with quotes about art and a QR code to scan for information on their spring workshops. SCCPSS Youth Art Month is Saturday, March 5 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Bull Street Library, located at 2002 Bull St, Savannah, GA 31401. Also joining Jackson at the Museum’s table will be artist, SCCPSS art teacher and Scribble Art Studio owner Paige Byrne, a new community collaborator of the Museum.

Byrne, and her husband, Geoff Byrne are artists and art teachers who co-own and operate Scribble Art Studio across the street from the museum. Byrne will promote the studio’s Summer Studio Camp, which includes a sketching class for middle school-aged students. During Scribble’s camp, participants will spend time at the Savannah African Art Museum learning about and sketching pieces of art from the museum’s collection. For more information on Scribble’s camp, please visit www.scribbleartstudiosav.com. 

“Exploring the Role of African Queen Mothers” workshop: In honor of March being Women’s History Month, the Savannah African Art Museum is holding a workshop on Saturday, March 12 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. titled “Exploring the Role of African Queen Mothers” at the museum’s Upbeat Village Terracotta Gallery, located at 201 East 37th Street, Savannah.

Workshop attendees will learn about two important history-making Queen Mothers: Idia, who was the first Queen Mother of Benin, and Yaa Assantawa, who was the Queen Mother of the Ashanti Empire (now part of modern-day Ghana). Attendees will also make their own crown of flowers and other materials to honor mothers.

“Exploring the Use of Cowrie Shells as Currency” workshop: The Savannah African Art Museum is holding a workshop on Saturday, April 9 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. titled “Exploring the Use of Cowrie Shells as Currency” at the museum’s Upbeat Village Terracotta Gallery, located at 201 E. 37th St., Savannah. 

Participants will learn the history of the use of cowrie shells as currency in Africa and then will make a cowrie shell ink stamp with a potato and decorate their own draw-string currency pouches.

Please note that both the March12 and April 9 workshops are held in a room that is accessible by stairs only; no elevator or wheelchair access is available. All participants will be required to wear masks. To register for either workshop or for more information, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org or call 912-721-7745.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377). 

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM ADDS SECOND ‘WEARABLE ART’ WORKSHOP AFTER FIRST REACHES LIMIT

SAVANNAH, GA – FEBRUARY 10, 2022 – The Savannah African Art Museum has added an additional “Creating Wearable Art” workshop on Saturday, Feb. 19. The first wearable art workshop, held Feb. 12, filled up less than 24 hours after registration opened. Due to the popularity of the event and continued interest in the activity, the museum’s leadership team decided to give the community another opportunity to learn and be creative while enjoying themselves. 

The second workshop will run from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Feb. 19 at the museum’s Upbeat Village Terracotta Gallery, 201 East 37th Street, Savannah. Please note that it is stair access only, no elevator or wheelchair access is available. Registration is required via: www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org. Attendees will begin their experience with a private tour of the museum’s newest exhibit, “Culture, Currency and Continuity: The Significance of Cowrie Shells in African Art.” Registered attendees will meet at the main entrance of the museum promptly at 11 a.m. to commence the tour. Then, they’ll try their hands at creating wearable art out of cowrie shells and other materials.

In African culture, the small, glossy shells are more than just fashionable; they had monetary value in Ancient African societies. For centuries, the shells were a symbol of wealth and were used as a form of currency due to their sturdy and light-weight character. They are thought to be the first pan-regional currency in West Africa. Apart from their economic value, the shells were also revered for their power to bring prosperity, fertility, healing, and spiritual connection to ancestors. Today, cowrie shells are often used in clothing, jewelry, crafts, and African braided hairstyles and headpieces. 

“Cowrie shells have come to represent the African continent globally and have taken root in pop culture,” said Savannah African Art Museum Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson. “We want to share the history behind cowrie shells and why they are important to African societies. They were more than fashion; they were completely intertwined with the culture, spiritually, emotionally and financially. They were an important part of African life. We want our workshop attendees to walk away with more knowledge about these popular shells than what they walked in with and share it with others.”

To participate in this workshop, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/workshops. To learn more about the museum, the new 2022 exhibit, and the museum’s newest collections, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org and follow The Museum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

The Savannah African Art Museum is a nonprofit institution that introduces all audiences to African art and culture. Its mission is to provide engaging experiences that educate and start conversations about the power, diversity, and spirituality of African art. 

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM ANNOUNCES NEW 2022 EXHIBIT THAT DELVES INTO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF COWRIE SHELLS IN AFRICAN ART AND CULTURE

SAVANNAH, GA – January 19, 2022 – The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) has announced its new 2022 exhibit, “Culture, Currency and Continuity: The Significance of Cowrie Shells in African Art,” which will be replacing their 2021 hair exhibit, “ROOTS: Hair-Culture-History, Exploring the Hair & Cultures of West & Central Africa.” The new exhibit will officially open to the public on February 2 at the nonprofit museum, 201 East 37th Street, Savannah.

SAAM continually dedicates a room in the museum to rotating exhibits that are in place for a year to display different aspects of African civilization. Before the current 2021 hair exhibit, the room was devoted to African instruments and music. For 2022, SAAM wanted to demonstrate the relevance of cowrie shells as they have been intertwined with African art and culture for centuries. 

Although cowrie shells’ origin is the Indian and Pacific Ocean via the trade industry and not indigenous to Africa, they are mostly associated with African culture, and for good reason. The small, glossy shells were more than just fashionable, they had monetary value in Ancient African societies. For centuries, the beige shells were a symbol of wealth and were used as a form of currency due to their sturdy and light-weight character. They are thought to be the first pan-regional currency in West Africa. Apart from their economic value, the shells were also revered for their power to bring prosperity, fertility, healing, and spiritual connection to ancestors. Today, cowrie shells are often used in clothing, jewelry, crafts, and African braided hairstyles and headpieces. 

“Every year, we aim to host a new exhibit on something deeply rooted in African culture to broaden the awareness and appreciation for its impact and relevancy to African History. Cowrie shells have come to represent the African continent globally. They have taken root in pop culture, coming a long way since the startled looks and comments received by Venus and Serena Williams when they adorned their braided hair with them as a connection to their African roots during tennis competitions in the early days of their careers,” said SAAM Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson. “We want to share the history behind cowrie shells and why they are important to African societies. They were more than fashion; they were completely intertwined with the culture spiritually, emotionally, and financially. They were an important part of African life. We want to our visitors to walk away with more knowledge about these popular shells than what they walked in with and share it with others.”

The new exhibit coincides with SAAM’s participation in the 2022 Savannah Black Heritage Festival, which runs from February 1-20, 2022. As part of the festivities, SAAM is hosting a workshop that ties into the new exhibit, “Creating Wearable Art” on Feb. 12 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on the second floor of the museum’s Upbeat Village Terracotta Gallery. Participants will have the opportunity to create wearable art out of cowrie shells and other materials. Please note that the gallery is stair access only, no elevator or wheelchair access available. Also on Feb. 12, museum patrons can have their photographs taken for posting and downloading on the SAAM website. Each photo will have a border placed around it displaying the SAAM and SBHF logos and the date, making them great keepsakes of the SBHF and SAAM Experience.

Savannah news outlet WSAV also plans to air a segment on the launch of SAAM’s new Cowrie Shell exhibit. To learn more about the Savannah Black Heritage Festival and check out the WSAV viewing schedule, please visit https://savannahblackheritagefestival.org/. For more information about the new exhibit, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/exhibits. For more information about the workshop, please visit www.savannahafricanart.org/workshops.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-5377.

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM PARTICIPATES IN GEORGIA HISTORY FESTIVAL’S SUPER MUSEUM SUNDAY

SAVANNAH, GA – January 14, 2022 – The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) is pleased to participate in the Georgia History Festival’s Super Museum Sunday once again from 12-4 p.m. on February 6, 2022. The museum will offer free self-guided tours around the museum with docents stationed at various points to answer questions and provide information as needed. COVID-19 precautions will be in place and masks are required. 

Super Museum Sunday is part of the annual Georgia History Festival, the statewide K-12 educational event sponsored by the Georgia Historical Society. SAAM will join over 100 historic sites, house museums, art museums, and other points of interest throughout Georgia opening their doors to the public, free of charge, and offering a variety of in-person and virtual experiences that encourage Georgians to experience the history, arts, and cultural opportunities in our own backyard.

“We’d love to welcome any interested community members and visitors to the Savannah African Art Museum as part of Super Museum Sunday. Throughout the year, we host free educational tours, workshops, and classes to present African art and culture to the wider community. We’re always eager to share our impressive collection with patrons, and there’s no shortage of things to see or do here,” SAAM Founding Director and Chief Curator Billie Stultz said. 

Super Museum Sunday is supported by Delta Air Lines. For more information and to see a full listing of Super Museum Sunday sites visit www.georgiahistoryfestival.org.

“We are excited to have so many wonderful sites from across our state participating this year and hope that everyone will take advantage of the opportunity to get out and experience all the wonderful things that make Georgia great,” said Dr. W. Todd Groce, President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. 

To learn more about SAAM, upcoming workshops, and the museum’s newest collections, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org and follow SAAM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

SAAM is a nonprofit institution that introduces all audiences to African art and culture. Its mission is to provide engaging experiences that educate and start conversations about the power, diversity, and spirituality of African art. 

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM ANNOUNCES NEW DATES FOR SOME KWANZAA WORKSHOPS, PLANS AFRICAN GOODS SHOPPING OPPORTUNITIES

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM ANNOUNCES NEW DATES FOR SOME KWANZAA WORKSHOPS, PLANS AFRICAN GOODS SHOPPING OPPORTUNITIES

SAVANNAH, GA – December 7, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) is hosting a Kwanzaa workshop series on two Saturdays in December (Dec. 11 and 18) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., and one Saturday in January (Jan. 8) from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. All workshops will be held in their Terracotta Gallery (upstairs), 201 East 37th St., Savannah. The Gallery, at the rear of the main museum, is accessible only by stairs and has no wheelchair or elevator access. This series is part of the museum’s bi-monthly workshop program and will also offer guests shopping opportunities with the Diaspora Marketplace and Ghanian Fine Artist, William Kwamena-Poh.

A short presentation on what Kwanzaa is, why it’s celebrated, and its African connection will precede each of the following “back by popular demand” workshops:

  • December 11, 2021 – African Beaded Bracelet Making: SAAM Docent and CEO of Savanna Naturals Inc., Connie Williams, will guide participants through the process of working with beads while sharing a brief history of African beading. Participants will have the choice of making a bracelet with recycled glass beads from Ghana, made by a group known as the Krobo people; terracotta beads from Mali; or Bone Batik hand-dyed beads, using a Kenyan wax relief process. Hand-made beaded items also will be available for purchase.
  • December 18, 2021 – Interactive Kwanzaa Visual Story Telling: Facilitator Kat Robertson, visual and performing artist, teacher, published poet and writer, will engage participants in an interactive Kwanzaa Visual Story Telling experience. She will introduce the Nguzo Saba (the Swahili name for the 7 Principles of Kwanzaa) and the week-long lighting of the candles that represent the 7 Principles. Using construction paper, paints, color markers and fabrics, participants in this storytelling process will select and create the Swahili principle named candle of their choice. Then they will decorate the other side of their drawing with a word or phrase that exemplifies what the principle means to them. The collective candles will be ceremoniously “lit” as all the words/phrases are woven together to create the fabric of the Kwanzaa story.

This distinctive event will stimulate the imagination and encourage creativity while fostering awareness and unity. Storytelling is a universal art that exists in every culture to pass on cultural traditions, knowledge, history, and experiences from one generation to the next. Its presence in African culture goes back to ancient times and also plays a role in passing on codes of behavior and maintaining order in the community. Hand-made Kwanzaa cards and books by the facilitator will be available for purchase.

  • January 8, 2022 – Making Affirmation Journals for the New Year: Facilitated by Billie Stultz, SAAM Executive Director/Chief Curator and artist, participants will design their own journal and be guided through the process of creating affirmations to manifest their goals for the next year. Affirmations are statements of truth. They are often used to encourage and reinforce positive thinking to create positive outcomes. Writing affirmations and revisiting them in a journal helps us to reinforce them.

In addition, from noon-4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 22, Savannah’s, “The Diaspora Marketplace” will be at SAAM with authentic items for sale such as clothing, jewelry, home goods, and more from some of the West and Central African countries featured in the museum’s collection. From noon-4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 23 at SAAM, attendees will have the opportunity to shop originals, limited editions, and prints of water-color images of Ghanaian scenes from Fine Artist, William Kwamena – Poh.

“Kwanzaa is a time where we celebrate family, community, and culture; and what better way to observe this holiday than by welcoming the community to learn more about African art and culture through our most popular workshops. Through this educational and interactive series, we can keep the tradition alive by making homemade gifts, telling stories, creating a positive headspace for the new year, and offering an authentic ‘taste of Africa’ shopping experience on the premises,” said SAAM Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson. “We invite families and individuals to honor the spirit of Kwanzaa with us.”

Additionally, for families who are in town over Thanksgiving weekend and looking for a unique experience, SAAM also has its “Exploring Animal Symbols in African Culture and Art” from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27. At this workshop, participants will create a piece of art representing their favorite animal or one they feel represents them by drawing, molding clay, using animal stamps, and more. It will be held in in the Terra Cotta Gallery as well.

For more information about the Kwanzaa workshops, registration, and the Kwanzaa shopping experience, please visit www.savannahafricanart.org/workshops. For more information about the shopping vendors, please visit www.diasporamarketplc.com or www.williamkfineart.net.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM CONTINUES FALL WORKSHOP LINEUP, RUNNING THROUGH NOV. 27

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM CONTINUES FALL WORKSHOP LINEUP, RUNNING THROUGH NOV. 27

SAVANNAH, GA. – NOV. 4, 2021 – Savannah African Art Museum will continue its fall workshops lineup, slated to run through Saturday, Nov. 27. All workshops are free for patrons who register, although donations are appreciated. The museum’s staff requires masks to be worn at all workshops.

The Nov. 13 workshop, “Exploring  the Significance of Amulets (charms) Used in Central and West African Culture,” will be facilitated by SAAM intern and fine artist Helen Zellner, who is a Savannah State University Student. Attendees will have an opportunity to create their own amulets at the workshop, which will be held on SSU’s Campus at the Kennedy Fine Arts Building in room 212 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

“Exploring Animal Symbols in African Culture and Art” will close out SAAM’s fall workshop series from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 27. At this workshop, participants will create a piece of art representing their favorite animal or one they feel represents them by drawing, molding clay, using animal stamps, and more. It will be held in in the SAAM garden.

“This fall, we are enjoying a lineup of hands-on and informative workshops that people of all ages are participating in,” Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson said. “Seeing people engage during our workshops, while learning about African cultures, is one of the many reasons we love doing what we do.”

To register for the workshops, please visit the Eventbrite link located under the desired workshop’s page on SAAMs website at www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/ 

The Savannah African Art Museum is a non-profit institution devoted to spreading awareness and appreciation of African culture. They hold a collection of over 1,000 objects that hail from West and Central Africa. The museum’s collection spans over 28 countries and represents over 180 cultures.

For more information about the museum, access virtual tours, workshops, and initiatives, please visits www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org or follow SAAM on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest using the handle @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM RESUMES REGULAR OPERATING HOURS, LIMITS CAPACITY AND TOUR SIZES

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM RESUMES REGULAR OPERATING HOURS, LIMITS CAPACITY AND TOUR SIZES

SAVANNAH, GA – September 20, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) has resumed normal, pre-pandemic operating hours but will continue to limit capacity inside the museum as well as group sizes for each tour. SAAM opens its doors each week from Wednesday to Saturday, welcoming guests from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The West Africa gallery tours start on the hour, every hour, with the first tour beginning at 11 a.m. and the last tour beginning at 4 p.m. The Central Africa gallery tours start every hour on the half our, with the first tour beginning at 11:30 a.m. and the last tour beginning at 3:30 p.m.

Masks are required for all visitors and staff while inside the museum. Signage is placed throughout the museum to direct the flow of traffic and encourage social distancing. Sanitizer stations are also located throughout the building for guests and staff. All public areas will be sanitized throughout the day.

“The ability to resume our normal business hours is a welcome change to both our staff and our guests. We are so pleased to offer our visitors more time to learn about the history of African art and the cultural influences it had, and still has, around the world,” said SAAM Founding Executive Director and Chief Curator Billie Stultz. “We are still leaving in place some social distancing and other protection measures, but that also indicates that we are able to offer a clean and safe environment for everyone.”

The Savannah African Art Museum is a nonprofit institution devoted to spreading awareness and appreciation of African culture. It touts an art collection of over 1,000 objects from West and Central Africa. The museum’s collection spans over 28 countries and represents over 180 cultures.

Admission is free; donations are welcomed and appreciated.

For more information about the museum or to access virtual tours and initiatives, please visits www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org  or follow SAAM on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest using the handle @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950.

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM IN NEED OF VOLUNTEERS, DOCENTS AND INTERNS TO ASSIST

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM IN NEED OF VOLUNTEERS, DOCENTS AND INTERNS TO ASSIST

SAVANNAH, GA – MAY 26, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum is looking for eager volunteers, docents, and interns with good communication skills to assist at the downtown gallery.

Docents will lead tours for diverse groups – from elementary school children to older adults. This is a wonderful opportunity for volunteers interested in learning and teaching about the history and art of West and Central Africa. General volunteers and interns are also needed to help with additional tasks, clerical duties, organizing, and other duties.

Those who volunteer their time and talents or intern with the museum will gain much from the experience. This includes knowledge, an opportunity to interact with people from all around the world, volunteer or community service hours and recommendation letters, internship opportunities, public speaking experience, and the chance to see how a museum operates behind the scenes.

Due to COVID-19, the Savannah African Art Museum is adhering to specific sanitary measures and guidelines to ensure the safety of visitors and staff. So, those who do volunteer can rest assured their health and wellbeing is a top priority and will be as protected as possible. As docents guide patrons through SAAM’s collection of African art and cultural artifacts, we are limiting tour groups to 5, and no more than 10 visitors are in the building at any given time. There are distinct entrances and exits so that there is no crowding of the tour groups. Masks are required by all patrons and staff. Surfaces are sanitized frequently, and hand sanitizer stations are available.

Even those with the busiest of schedules can find a shift or two to meet their availability, thanks to the museum’s varying hours. Shifts are available on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 12 p.m.-5 p.m. The time commitment is flexible. Docents will go through training before giving tours of the museum’s collection, no prior experience as a docent or knowledge of African art and history is required. Additionally, docent talking points will be provided. Upon training completion, docents will be expected to give tours to guests visiting the museum. Tours are provided to visitors by walk-in and by appointment.

During volunteer training sessions, docents will learn about the museum and its collection through instruction from the learned museum staff as well as by shadowing current docents on a few tours to get a better understanding of the process. Docent talking points will be explained and reviewed, and volunteers will be provided with some light reading materials to supplement the tour talking points. Over time and with constructive feedback, volunteers will become effective teachers and public speakers, along with being informed about African arts and cultures.

​To apply or for more information, please email an updated resume to apply.saam@gmail.com, call the Savannah African Art Museum at 912-721-7724, or visit in person at 201 E. 37th St. Savannah, GA 31401.

Savannah African Art Museum is a nonprofit institution that introduces all audiences to African art and culture. Our mission is to provide engaging experiences that educate and start conversations about the power, diversity, and spirituality of African art. Learn more by visiting www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org or dropping by their location at 201 E. 37th St. for a free tour.

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For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM WELCOMES COMMUNITY THIS MAY WITH IN-PERSON FREE WORKSHOPS, EXTENDED OPENING HOURS AND SUPER MUSEUM SUNDAY

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM WELCOMES COMMUNITY THIS MAY WITH IN-PERSON FREE WORKSHOPS, EXTENDED OPENING HOURS AND SUPER MUSEUM SUNDAY

SAVANNAH, GA – April 29, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) is inviting the community to join them in a range of family-friendly events this May. On Sunday May 2, 2021 SAAM will participate in the Georgia History Festival’s Super Museum Sunday by opening to visitors from 12 noon – 3 p.m. While entry is always free of charge, the museum is usually open Wednesday – Saturday. Commencing on May 5, SAAM will be extending visiting hours by one hour a day so the museum will open from 12 noon – 5 p.m., every Wednesday – Saturday except major holidays.

SAAM is also slated to host its first onsite workshop since closing in March 2020 due to the pandemic. The free workshop will take place from 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 8 in the museum’s courtyard, located at 201 East 37th Street. SAAM Docent Connie Williams will guide participants through the process of working with beads while sharing a brief history of African beading. Participants will have the choice of making bracelets using recycled glass beads from Ghana, made by a group known as the Krobo people; glass trade beads from Nigeria; terracotta beads from Mali; or Bone Batik hand-dyed beads, using a wax relief process, from Kenya.

Participants are encouraged to take a tour of the museum to view some of SAAM’s intricate beaded artwork on exhibit. The museum holds a collection of over 1,000 objects that hail from West and Central Africa and represent over 180 cultures across 28 countries.

Williams conducts West & Central African Tours at the SAAM. She has applied her diverse leadership experience in banking, finance, international business relationships. For most of her career, she has worked in the public sector in business and international relations. Traveling within Africa for a decade helped her to see the real need for training, coaching and business support to assist the women and young adults. For the past 10 years she shared responsibility for business development and community programs in the village of Kpanvo, located in Northern Region of Tamale Ghana, West Africa where she was appointed Chief in 2009. 

Williams is the Founder and CEO of Savanna Naturals Inc., a small business focused on natural products with an understanding and appreciation of how products are produced in Ghana and throughout the Savanna region of Africa. Leading by example and excellence are innate to who Williams is. Her ultimate motivation is to help uplift rural women while creating business opportunities that will impact their lives and families in a positive way.

On Saturday, May 29 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the museum will hold its previously postponed “The Healing Tree: A Visual Storytelling Workshop” in the museum’s courtyard, located at 201 E. 37th St. in Savannah. The workshop, facilitated by visual and performance artists Kat Robertson, will focus on the universal art of storytelling, which exists in every culture and serves to pass on traditions, knowledge, history, and experiences to new generations. Its presence in African culture goes back to ancient times and plays a role in passing on codes of behavior and maintaining order in the community. This is accomplished by the gift of the storyteller who entertains, inspires, and engages audiences while educating them.

In African storytelling tradition, the storyteller does not merely share a story with an audience, they share an experience, making creative use of their vocal ranges, facial expressions, gestures, instrumentation, etc. Stories may include songs, chants poems, and prayers, and the audience may be invited to chime in. Storytellers in West Africa are known as a Griots (pronounced “gree·ows”). The role of a Griot is traditionally inherited, passed from one generation to the next. Griots’ roles as primary storytellers of their people was once also complimented with the role of serving as advisers to the king.

Robertson, a published poet and writer, said, “The global pandemic’s massive impact on the quality of our lives and all the events worldwide over this past year has revealed an especially important message. We as a nation and our planet as a whole need wellness; restoration and healing.”  She will ask workshop participants, “If words were a healing balm, which words would we bring to heal and re-unite us with each other and the world around us?” Reflecting upon this question, each attendee will select a word, a color, a movement, and a sound that best represents this “balm” creating a visual montage. By combining various media – such as colored construction paper, fabric, paints, or photos from magazines – each participant will select their “word” of healing. Everyone will assign a sound and a physical movement to their word. When completed, each mosaic is in turn a piece of a unique whole story, “The Healing Tree.” With the visual words, sound, and movement combined, those present will see the complete visual story as an orchestrated presentation which will be videotaped. At the conclusion of the workshop, each participant will leave with their individual piece of art reflecting their telling of “The Healing Tree.” There will also be a link posted on the museum’s website to access the group’s visual presentation.

“We’re looking forward to, once again, being able to welcome people into the museum to participate in our educational workshops and excited about extending our opening hours and participating in Super Museum Sunday,” said Billie Stultz, SAAM’s founding executive director and chief curator. “We’ve implemented important precautions and specific sanitary measures, which our museum staff will adhere to in order to ensure the health and safety of visitors.”

Registration is required via Eventbrite to attend these free workshops and space is limited to 15 people per workshop. Register to attend these workshops at https://www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/

To learn more about the museum, upcoming workshops, and the museum’s newest collections, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org and follow SAAM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651, Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM RETURNS TO ON-SITE WORKSHOPS WITH VISUAL STORYTELLING EVENT

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM RETURNS TO ON-SITE WORKSHOPS WITH VISUAL STORYTELLING EVENT

SAVANNAH, GA – APRIL 20, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum is planning its first on-site workshop since March 2020. On Saturday, April 24 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., the museum will hold “The Healing Tree: A Visual Storytelling Workshop” in the courtyard garden, just outside the main building at 201 E. 37th St. in Savannah. Due to COVID-19 safety protocols, attendance is limited to 15 participants ages 6 and older, via Eventbrite registration.

The workshop, facilitated by visual and performance artists Kat Robertson, will focus on the universal art of storytelling, which exists in every culture and serves to pass on traditions, knowledge, history and experiences to new generations. Its presence in African culture goes back to ancient times and also plays a role in passing on codes of behavior and maintaining order in the community. This is accomplished by the gift of the storyteller who entertains, inspires, and engages audiences while educating them.

In African storytelling tradition, the storyteller does not merely share a story with an audience, they share an experience, making creative use of their vocal ranges, facial expressions, gestures, instrumentation, etc. Stories may include songs, chants poems, and prayers, and the audience may be invited to chime in. Storytellers in West Africa are known as a Griots (pronounced “gree·ows”). The role of a Griot is traditionally inherited, passed from one generation to the next. Griots’ roles as primary storytellers of their people was once also complimented with the role of serving as advisers to the king.

Robertson, a published poet and writer, said, “The global pandemic’s massive impact on the quality of our lives and all the events worldwide over this past year has revealed an especially important message. We as a nation and our planet as a whole need wellness; restoration and healing.”

She will ask workshop participants, “If words were a healing balm, which words would we bring to heal and re-unite us with each other and the world around us?”

Reflecting upon this question, each attendee will select a word, a color, a movement, and a sound that best represents this “balm” creating a visual montage. By combining various media – such as colored construction paper, fabric, paints, or photos from magazines – each participant will select their “word” of healing. Everyone will assign a sound and a physical movement to their word. When completed, each mosaic is in turn a piece of a unique whole story, “The Healing Tree.” With the visual words, sound, and movement combined, those present will see the complete visual story as an orchestrated presentation which will be videotaped. At the conclusion of the workshop, each participant will leave with their individual piece of art reflecting their telling of “The Healing Tree.” There will also be a link posted on the museum’s website to access the group’s visual presentation.

To register for the workshop, please go to https://www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/the-healing-tree-workshop-2021/. Attendees need not bring anything other than their creativity. All materials, tables and chairs will be supplied. However, anyone who prefers to sit on the grass as they create may bring a blanket, sheet or towel.

To learn more about the museum, upcoming workshops, and the museum’s newest collections, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org and follow SAAM on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @SavannahAfricanArtMuseum.

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For media inquiries, please contact Lesley Francis at lesley@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-429-3950, Kristyn Fielding at kristyn@lesleyfrancispr.com or 229-393-6457, or Hollie Barnidge at hollie@lesleyfrancispr.com or 912-272-8651.