In its first four months of operation, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture surpassed one million visits and quickly became a cherished, vital monument to the African American experience. And yet this accomplishment was never assured. In A Fool's Errand, founding director Lonnie Bunch tells his story of bringing his clear vision and leadership to realize this shared dream of many generations of Americans.
Outlining the challenges of site choice, architect selection, building design, and the compilation of an unparalleled collection of African American artifacts, Bunch also delves into his personal struggles--especially the stress of a high-profile undertaking--and the triumph of establishing such an institution without mentors or guidebooks to light the way. His memoir underscores his determination to create a museum that treats the black experience as an essential component of every American's identity.
This inside account of how Bunch planned, managed, and executed the museum's mission informs and inspires not only readers working in museums, cultural institutions, and activist groups, but also those in the nonprofit and business worlds who wish to understand how to succeed--and do it spectacularly--in the face of major political, structural, and financial challenges.
|Publisher:||Smithsonian Institution Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 What Happens to a Dream Deferred? 1
Chapter 2 You End as You Begin 17
Chapter 3 Now That You Have It, What You Gonna Do With It? 43
Chapter 4 Designing a Dream 67
Chapter 5 Finding the Stuff of History 87
Chapter 6 Realizing a Dream Takes Money 117
Chapter 7 Befriending Presidents and Managing Congress: A Long Way From New Jersey 137
Chapter 8 Exhibiting American History Through an African American Lens: Making a Way Out of No Way 157
Chapter 9 All in the Family: Building a Community of Caring Colleagues 177
Chapter 10 Filling the Hole: The Challenge of Building on the National Mall 195
Chapter 11 Welcoming America Home: The Opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture 213
Chapter 12 A First Year of Surprise and Wonder: Helping America to Remember 241