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B-CU Welcomes Statewide Conference of African-American Heritage Sites & Museums

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Whether paying tribute to the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington or highlighting the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, African American museums and cultural institutions play a vital role in the engagement, enlightenment and education of the entire community. The Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network (FAAHPN), in partnership with the Bethune Cookman University, will bring together representatives from over 40 African-American historic sites and museums to provide learning opportunities for museum professionals and patrons to lead, manage, and collaborate more effectively, while experiencing the unique history and culture of the central Florida region.

The FAAHPN Conference will kick-off on Thursday, April 4, 2013 with a Heritage Tour of African-American historic sites and museums in Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, and Mims, Florida, followed by a dynamic lecture entitled “A Route in Search of Roots” to help the public develop a comprehensive understanding of how Africans migrated into the Americas and significantly contributed to the foundation of Florida’s history from 1513 to 2013. This will also mark the first time that the conference has been held on a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) campus and is being co-sponsored by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History & Culture (NMAAHC), which seeks to expand its partnership with FAAHPN to include the state’s HBCUs. Mr. John Franklin, Senior Program Manager of Community & Constituent Services and son of the late John Hope Franklin, will keynote the FAAHPN Conference Luncheon on Friday, April 5, 2013.

In addition to informative presentations from industry professionals, the conference will culminate on Saturday, April 6, 2013, with a very special national collections initiative entitled “Save Our African American Treasures” - a collaborative community effort to preserve and collect African American material culture. Members of the public are invited to come and learn how to preserve their family photographs and papers, military uniforms, quilts and the other items that document African American life (through presentations, hands-on activities and oral history preservation tips). More details on the upcoming FAAHPN Conference can be found at: www.rileymuseum.org/faahpnconference/ . The Florida African American Heritage Preservation Network (FAAHPN) is a professional association organized in 2001 to serve as an informational and technical assistance resource in response to a growing interest in preserving Florida’s African American culture, that of the African Diaspora and that of other related ethnically diverse historic resources globally. The 8th Bi-Annual FAAHPN Conference will introduce museum, arts, culture and travel professionals to the fruitful opportunities that cultural heritage tourism provides. By any definition, cultural heritage tourism is nothing new, but some of the ways it can be encouraged and implemented within diverse communities are exciting and fresh.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Mobile: (850)339-2757
Marion McGee
mmcgee@rileymuseum.org

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The opportunities to combine culture, commerce and community are wide-ranging. In addition to the obvious financial impact, cultural heritage tourism promotes the identification, collection, documentation and maintenance of our greatest cultural treasures and beloved folkways. Likewise, museums offer a protective home for historic documentation as well as the myriad of tools, clothing, artifacts and other objects that define a specific time period and/or culture.

For more information about the upcoming conference or the organization please contact Marion McGee at (850) 339-2757 or by email at mmcgee@rileymuseum.org
(FAAHPN)* In addition to producing high-quality statewide publications that promote tourism and economic development, (such as the The Florida Black Heritage Trail Guide) FAAHPN provides: technical assistance to museum & historic preservation professionals; content development & management; enhancement of organizational resource allocation; professional development for staff, board members & volunteers; information technology upgrades through hardware & software integration; grant, fundraising & private-funding development training; archival research, digitization and creation of living history exhibits and educational products; and consultation for obtaining historic designations.

(NMAAHC)**The new Smithsonian Museum of African American History & Culture was established by an Act of Congress in 2003 and is scheduled to open in late 2015 on a five-acre tract of land adjacent to the Washington Monument. It will be the only national museum dedicated to the history of African-Americans with exhibition subjects that will include slavery, the civil rights movement, sports and the arts.

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Office of Communications

Marion McGeeAssistant Directormmcgee@rileymuseum.org PH: 850-339-2757
FX: 850-681-7881

About Bethune-Cookman University

Founded in 1904 by Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement. B-CU offers baccalaureate degrees in 37 majors through six academic schools – Arts & Humanities; Business; Education; Nursing; Science, Engineering and Mathematics; and Social Sciences – and maintains intercollegiate athletic programs and instrumental and choral groups that have achieved national recognition. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of more than 3,400.

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