Baldwin UFSD Collaborates with African American History Museum of Nassau County
More Than 50 Secondary Students Participate in Special Art Exhibition
Baldwin Union Free School District launched a unique partnership with the African American History Museum of Nassau County, where secondary students submitted artwork for an exhibit dedicated to Black History Month. Baldwin UFSD was the first district to set up such a collaboration with the museum. The exhibit was on display for the entire month of February, with an opening night ceremony kicking off the special gala to commemorate the students and their work. Over 100 Baldwin community members were in attendance to see the exhibit unveiled.
“The program was meant to have students from every grade on the secondary level connect art and history together, while also reflecting on the importance of celebrating black trailblazers,” explained Dr. Gabriella Franza, the assistant director of instructional programs for Baldwin UFSD, who helped make this important partnership between the museum and the district come to life. “Black History Month is more than just a month, and this was an opportunity for students to show their reflections through any medium or creative expression they wanted. I am truly proud to witness these young artists at work.”
Located in Hempstead, NY, the Joysetta & Julius Pearse African American History Museum aims to “promote understanding and appreciation of African American culture, art, and tradition through education, interpretation, exhibitions, collections and programs for the enrichment of the public, with an emphasis on Long Island.” The museum’s vision is to continue to serve as a regional resource for African American historical information and preservation. Throughout the year, the museum provides programming that includes themed exhibits that focus on historical figures and events, “hidden” history and art, while special interest programs are also regularly scheduled.
More than fifty students from grades 6-12 participated in the special exhibit, either as a solo artist or in group work. Artwork ranged from graphic design pieces to paintings to sculptures. The high school and middle school students were free to create a piece that expressed what Black History Month meant to them.
Even the gala’s grand opening was student-driven. The speakers included Briana Thompson, an 8th grader at Baldwin Middle School, who is a member of the school's very first Competition Speech and Debate-Pre Academy, and Neuville Brown, a Baldwin High School 10th grader and a member of the Youth Change Leader Collaborative and president of the N.A.A.C.P. Lakeview Youth Council. In addition, a representative from the African American History Museum of Nassau County, Monet Green, also spoke at the opening and thanked the Baldwin students for their contributions.
In early March, the exhibit was then moved to Baldwin High School for visitors to continually enjoy because the district and community recognized that "Black History" is more than a month.
For more information about the African American History Museum of Nassau County, visit www.jjpaamuseum.org.
Baldwin UFSD Artists
Baldwin Middle School
Zyliah J. Bailey
Hayden Barry Jr
Darwin Javier Bran
Emely Chavez Calderon
Hernandez Antonio Morales
Chukwu (CJ) Okogeri Jr.
Matthew Pierre Louis
Brianna Jean Baptiste
Timothy J. Ortega
Baldwin High School