David C. Driskell Center

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Date: June 26, 2008
Contact: Dr. Robert E. Steele
Title: Executive Director
Phone: 301.405.2615


COLLEGE PARK, MD. – The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora recently was awarded a generous $100,000 grant from the Ford Foundation. The two-year grant will provide support for two programs central to the Center’s mission to expand and replenish the field of African American art: the Center’s Publication Series and Educational Program.

The Ford Foundation grant will be instrumental in fulfilling the Center’s mission as the Center and others working to advance the field of African American art face the dual challenge of inspiring the next generation of African American artists and scholars and continuing to reach new and diverse audiences around the country.

The Driskell Center’s ongoing Publication Series celebrates and documents outstanding artistic work and is published in conjunction with the Center’s Exhibition Program. The Publication Series centers on the publication – in hard copy and electronic – of scholarly documentation with full color reproductions of works exhibited at the Center. Over the two-year grant period, the Center will develop, design, and produce two high quality catalogues. Mid-Career Retrospective: Robin Holder will present Holder’s narrative and representational art which focuses on political and social issues. The second publication, The Art of William T. Williams, will highlight the work of this Color Field abstract painter who layers color upon color to create texture and emphasizes geometric and organic forms.

The Driskell Center’s Educational Initiative aims to reach and inspire future generations of artists, art scholars, museum professionals, and arts audiences. The Education Program reaches a wide range of students, from middle school to high schools students, to undergraduate and graduate students focusing on the study of African American and African diasporic art. With support from the Ford Foundation, the Center will continue its Education Program offered to students from Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in Maryland. The program encompasses a range of activities, from gallery tours to lectures and workshops, and concludes with the exhibition of works created by the students at the Driskell Center’s gallery.

The David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora at the University of Maryland, College Park celebrates the legacy of David C. Driskell - Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Art, Artist, Art Historian, Collector, and Curator - by preserving the rich heritage of African American visual art and culture. Established in 2001, the Center provides an intellectual home for artists, museum professionals, art administrators, and scholars of color, broadening the field of African diasporic studies. The Driskell Center is committed to collecting, documenting, and presenting African American art as well as replenishing and expanding the field of African American art.

All exhibitions and events at the David C. Driskell Center are free and open to the public. The facility is wheelchair accessible. Assistance for the hearing impaired can be arranged with advance notice by calling 301.314.2615. The David C. Driskell Center’s hours are Monday through Friday from 11:00am to 4:00pm with extended hours on Wednesday until 6:00 pm. For more information on the David C. Driskell Center, please call 301-314-2615, email driskellcenter@umd.edu, or visit www.driskellcenter.umd.edu.

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than half a century it has been a resource for innovative people and institutions worldwide, guided by its goals of strengthening democratic values, reducing poverty and injustice, promoting international cooperation and advancing human achievement. For more information about the Ford Foundation visit www.fordfound.org.