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.

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM UNVEILS ONLINE WORKSHOPS TO HONOR WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM UNVEILS ONLINE WORKSHOPS TO HONOR WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

SAVANNAH, GA – March 10, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum is celebrating Women’s History Month with two special virtual workshops. The first, “Celebrating African Women Hidden Figures,” is set to launch online the week of March 13. The second, “History Maker Mayor Edna Jackson, Savannah’s First African American Woman Mayor, who served from 2012-2016, shares her Africa Experience,” will be available the week of March 27.

Throughout history, African women have played important leadership roles in society, media, and across a multitude of professions.  Unfortunately, in some areas, they have not been as widely recognized or celebrated as their male counterparts. SAAM’s workshop aims to enlighten participants about a few of these women and tell how the roles they’ve played over the years have influenced and shaped history as well as today’s world. Workshop viewers will be surprised to find the powerful African female themes and effects that surface frequently in everyday life.

The second workshop, which will be available the week of March 27, will feature Savannah’s first African American female mayor, Edna Jackson. A history-maker herself, this special program will feature Jackson’s recollections of her own Africa Experience and how it shaped her personally. Jackson has traveled to both Ghana and Nigeria. Her 2000 trip to Ghana was coordinated by former Savannah State University President, Dr. Carlton Brown, and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Joseph H. Silver Sr., who established the university’s student exchange program with Ghana. The trip was instrumental in solidifying important relationships with Ghana’s universities and its leadership, which were essential to the program. Jackson’s Nigerian trip was with a delegation of doctors, healthcare workers and volunteers as part of a health initiative partnership with Dr. Eugene Nwosu and St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital.

“My trip to Ghana was incredible and one highlight was meeting the leader of the Ashanti Nation and then welcoming him to Savannah as our honored guest. People from all over Georgia came to meet him as we rolled out the red carpet for him and showed him our southern hospitality. I also had the privilege of traveling to the Cape Coast and saw where the enslaved had been kept in slave castles and caves which was passage through the ‘Door of No Return’ toward their terrible destination,” Jackson said. “Later, on a mission trip to Nigeria as part of a delegation with Dr. Nwosu and St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital, I learned to read prescriptions and assisted with dispensing eye-glasses. I remember the amazing hospitality of the Nigerians as I had a birthday during our trip, and they surprised me with a wonderful party and a new traditional Nigerian dress! The purpose of these African trips is still relevant today and the connections made between Savannah, Ghana and Nigeria remain.”

SAAM Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson was eager to bring the African Women Hidden Figures workshop back for Women’s History Month and honored to have Mayor Edna Jackson to be a part of the celebration.

“There is such a rich history of powerful, female influence in African culture. These hidden figures deserve recognition and to be celebrated. Women’s History Month is the perfect occasion to do just that, “Jackson said. “And combining that content with engaging personal stories and experiences from one of our region’s groundbreaking female leaders, Edna Jackson, just really rounds out the workshops and lends so much depth.”

To participate in these workshops, please visit https://www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/learn-1. 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.

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM UNVEILS ONLINE WORKSHOPS TO SUPPORT SAVANNAH’S BLACK HERITAGE FESTIVAL

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM UNVEILS ONLINE WORKSHOPS TO SUPPORT SAVANNAH’S BLACK HERITAGE FESTIVAL

SAVANNAH, GA – February 4, 2021 – In honor of Savannah’s 32nd annual Black Heritage Festival this February, Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) will participate by hosting two online workshops that focus on tracing lineage and honoring ancestors.

This year’s Virtual Black Heritage Festival theme is ‘Reflect, Reform, Rejoice’. These three words represent the history of African Americans as they marched from enslavement to freedom to contributors and the festival’s aim is to present activities that attract a broad cross-section of age, socio-economic and ethnically diverse residents. SAAM invites guests to join the “Honoring your Ancestors” virtual workshop starting the week of Feb. 13. During this workshop, participants will discover how a few cultures around the world honor their ancestors and explore featured art from SAAM’s collection exhibiting how some African cultures honor their ancestors. Participants will then learn about the “Rest with Honor” initiative and how they can support this cause by signing a petition. The “Rest with Honor” initiative was started by Lori Lyons, a New York journalist who discovered that two Savannah squares – Calhoun and Whitfield – are constructed on top of African burial grounds. Lyons is not requesting for the excavation of the graves but is campaigning to have Calhoun and Whitfield’s names replaced as they were both strong advocates for slavery, and to have a marker placed on the squares declaring them African burial grounds.

The “Tracing your Roots” online workshop, beginning the week of Feb. 27, is back by popular demand after amazing feedback from last year’s in-person workshop before the pandemic. In this workshop, participants will be given free resources and tips on where to begin researching their heritage as well as what public records are available to them. SAAM will provide free links and documents to participants to help organize their findings. Savannah locals who participate in the workshop will also receive additional information about non-circulating material on genealogy and local history available at the Kaye Kole Genealogy Room, at the Bull Street Library.

“These free online workshops are here for the public to discover their lineage as well as support a cause which honors the memory of our ancestors here in Savannah. Because February celebrates Black History Month nationally and our city’s Annual Black Heritage Festival, we believe that these workshops are highly relevant and meaningful,” SAAM Education Coordinator Lisa Jackson said. “We proudly support the Rest with Honor Initiative and are happy to incorporate this into our February workshops.”  

Negro History Week was established in February 1926 by historian, author, educator and journalist, Carter G. Woodson and in 1976 – the U.S. Bi-Centennial year, the month of February was officially designated Black History Month.

To participate in these workshops, please visit https://www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org/learn-1. 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.

The first Savannah Black Heritage Festival took place in August 1988 under the guidance of the late Westley W. Law and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History with support and funding from the City of Savannah. For more information visit savannahblackheritagefestival.org

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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.

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH INNOVATIVE HAIR EXHIBIT OPENING ON FEBRUARY 10, 2020

SAVANNAH AFRICAN ART MUSEUM CELEBRATES BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH INNOVATIVE HAIR EXHIBIT OPENING ON FEBRUARY 10, 2020

SAVANNAH, GA – January 27, 2021 – The Savannah African Art Museum (SAAM) is launching a new hair exhibit which opens to the public on Wednesday, February 10, 2021. Designed to be a spectacular celebration of February’s Black History month, the exhibit, ROOTS: Hair-Culture-History, Exploring the Hair & Cultures of West & Central Africa will both honor and explore hair, culture, and history of West and Central Africa

“Hair is a frequent topic of conversation amongst all women,” said Lisa Jackson, SAAM’s Education Coordinator. “But, when it comes to hair of women of African descent, conversations have been laced with controversary, be it about European based society’s views about hair beauty or about the diverse hair choices Black women are rockin’ today. SAAM’s Hair Exhibit offers a historical perspective on how West and Central African cultures glorified and revered women’s hair, to the point of it being a part of female and male initiation rites. Hair is styled one way to signify being a young girl or boy, and another to signify becoming a woman or man. The exhibit demonstrates how these beautiful hair styles and adornments are created, and how much they’re appreciated.”

SAAM was established in Savannah in 2017 and this February celebrates the museum’s second anniversary at its current location at 201 E 37th Street. Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in world history. This tradition originated from the establishment of Negro History Week in 1926 by historian, author, educator and journalist, Carter G. Woodson. Since 1976, every US president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month and SAAM is delighted to honor this tradition with its latest exhibit and workshops.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, groups will be limited to 5 persons per tour to maintain social distance guidelines and masks are required. Tours will be offered Wednesday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m., with the last tour beginning at 4 p.m. and all workshops will be presented online.

During February, SAAM will be offering two workshops: “Tracing Your Roots–Tips and Resources” for tracing one’s roots and “Honoring Our Ancestors,” with an introduction to Lauri Lyons’ historical, social justice initiative, ‘Rest with Honor,’ commemorating an unmarked colonial ‘Negro Burying Ground’ in Savannah. SAAM is also a participant of the 32nd Annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival – A Virtual Presentation “Reflect, Reform, Rejoice.”

Savannah African Art museum is a non-profit institution devoted to spreading awareness and appreciation of African art and 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, or to access virtual tours and initiatives, please visit www.savannahafricanartmuseum.org, call (912) 721-7747 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.