James Claiborne joins The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History as   Senior Vice President of Exhibitions & Programs

(Detroit, MI) June 1, 2023 – Neil A. Barclay, President and CEO of The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History announces today, that James Claiborne is joining the museum as the new Senior Vice President of Exhibitions & Programs. Following a comprehensive search conducted over several months, The Wright Museum is pleased to welcome its newest addition to the institution’s staff.  

Claiborne, a program and visual arts curator and educator brings more than 17 years of experience in the nonprofit cultural sector, and most recently served as the Barnes Foundation Curator of Public Programs, where he shaped the vision and strategy for inclusive cultural programming. Before joining the Barnes Foundation, James served as the Director of Programming at the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP). He also recently served as an adjunct professor at Drexel University’s Westphal College of Media Arts Design, teaching audience development in the arts, with the focus on program creation, community engagement and marketing.  

James looks forward to bringing his wealth of knowledge to the Detroit community. “I’m delighted to join The Charles Wright Museum of African American History in this leadership role and am eager to work alongside my colleagues to illuminate the many ways that African Americans, and descendants of a global Black Diaspora, continue to impact and shape the world around us.” Claiborne also shared that he is “inspired by The Wright’s absolute commitment to education, equity, and sustainability, and I look forward to forging new pathways that broaden and deepen impact through innovative program development, thoughtful community engagement strategies, and meaningful collaborations with new and existing partners from the Detroit metropolitan area and beyond.”  

“James is a proven leader and an enthusiastic collaborator with an exemplary background in programs, education, and building community. In addition to a phenomenal skill set, he brings a depth and approach to exhibitions and programming that will help lead our already incredible institution to the next level.  We’ve heard impressive feedback from the field and look forward to connecting him with our Michigan community.” said Neil A. Barclay.    

About the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History     
The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History was founded in 1965 and for over half a century, the museum has dedicated itself to exploring and celebrating the rich cultural legacy of African Americans. Located in the heart of midtown Detroit’s cultural center, The Wright Museum’s mission is to open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture. Through dozens of permanent and visiting exhibitions, over 150 learning and engagement programs, as well as education and research opportunities for adults, children, and visiting scholars, The Wright inspires visitors toward greater understanding, acceptance, and unity by reflecting on the triumphs and tragedies of African American history.  And Still We Rise: Our Journey Through African American History and Culture is the museum’s 22,000 square foot, immersive core exhibit. The Wright Museum houses over 35,000 artifacts and archival materials and offers hundreds of programs and events annually.      

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