The DuSable Museum is proud of its diverse holdings that number more than 15,000 pieces and include paintings, sculpture, print works and historical memorabilia. Special exhibitions, workshops and lectures are featured to highlight works by particular artists, historical events or collections on loan from individuals or institutions.
MAKING GOOD HISTORY
In 1961, with a few dedicated colleagues and a dream, the artist/educator/writer/activist Margaret Taylor Burroughs established our nation’s first independent museum celebrating Black culture. The Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art was inaugurated that very year in the Burroughs’ home on Chicago’s iconic South Side. Burroughs was proud that the Museum was “the only one that grew out of the indigenous Black community.” At its 60th anniversary, the Museum—since named to honor Jean-Baptiste Pointe DuSable, the Haitian-born founder of Chicago—has welcomed millions of visitors to its home in Chicago’s historic Washington Park to experience its innovative and timely exhibitions and powerful and transformative educational programs, which together place the African American narrative firmly within the broader context of U.S. history. The DuSable is a convener; a point of connection; and a place where difficult conversations lead to reconciliation and renewal. And, as a beacon of strength and a refuge of reason, the Museum is a vital part of a socially equitable reconciliation of our nation’s historic divisions.
At this time of profound transformation, the DuSable is taking steps to solidify its position as a place where together, we can make good history. As part of this effort, it is focusing its outreach efforts on a sustainability campaign that will allow the Museum to imagine its next five years, while preparing it for its next sixty.
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THE DUSABLE WELCOMES PNC BANK’S PATRICK MCGEE AS NEW BOARD OF TRUSTEES CHAIRMAN
Four new Trustees also named to help McGee and the Board guide the mission of the nation’s first independent Black history museum, a Smithsonian affiliate
Chicago (Feb. 15, 2023) – The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center announced the appointment of Patrick McGee as the museum’s new chairman of the board of trustees. McGee succeeds Patricia Knazze who served as chairwoman for five years and nearly twenty years as a dedicated board member.
“The DuSable has evolved significantly in the last year alone, from announcing our rebranding initiative and name change, showcasing innovative and interactive exhibits, and bringing on new talent to our team,” said Perri Irmer, president and CEO of the DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center. “Patrick has witnessed the evolution of the museum firsthand as a dedicated board member for several years. It’s no surprise that our peers have elected him to help guide the direction of the museum’s future. The DuSable will benefit greatly from Patrick’s leadership, passion and commitment to the community of Chicago. I have no doubt that he will help expand our growth and impact. We cannot wait to share what’s in store.”
McGee is vice president and relationship manager for PNC Commercial Banking in Chicago. In his role, he supports clients with their commercial lending solutions, cash flow management, wealth management, growth and acquisition financing, risk management and personal financial needs. In 2021, McGee was recognized by Crain’s Chicago Business among the Notable Minorities in Commercial Banking. He earned a Master of Business Administration in Finance and International Business from Kellstadt Graduate Business at DePaul University and a B.S. in Economics from Northern Illinois University.
“I’m honored to have been elected by a great group of leaders who, like me, feel passionate about the opportunities and impact we can make to encourage curiosity and learning about Black history and heritage to visitors of all ages,” said Patrick McGee, incoming board chair of the DuSable.
PNC Bank is currently the museum’s Black History Month celebration sponsor, which includes “Pass the Mic”, a series inviting guests to engage in dialogue about arts, culture and history, and “Coming to Africa” an in-person experience to celebrate the one-year anniversary release of the film Equiano. Over the years, PNC has provided more than $500,000 to help enhance educational experiences and nurture advocacy to ensure important stories are being told, including support for “The March” a virtual remake of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1963 March on Washington for jobs and freedom.
“We are thrilled to have Patrick welcomed as board chair of this renowned institution with affiliation to the Smithsonian. His experience in financial services and decades of commitment to advance diversity, inclusion and equity at work and in our neighborhoods aligns with our goal to identify ways to further spotlight the richness of Black history and culture,” said Scott Swanson, PNC regional president of Illinois and territory executive for the Midwest region.
The DuSable has also welcomed the appointment of four new trustees to its board. Carmen M. Hernandez, executive vice president, general counsel at Clayco; Nancy Peal, senior interior designer, Onni Properties LLC; Dr. Gisselle Castillo Veremis, executive director of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD-CHICAGO) and Dr. Jeffrey Sterling, president and CEO of SIMPCO, LLC, America’s first managed preventive health organization.
“As we begin our 62nd year, the DuSable Museum Board of Trustees is more diverse now than ever before, which contributes to the quality of our work and greater awareness of our world-class institution,” said Irmer.
The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center is a Chicago community institution and the first non-profit Museum dedicated to the collection, documentation, preservation, study and the dissemination of the history and culture of Africans and African Americans. As an educational institution, DuSable attracts school groups from Chicago and surrounding areas. More than 100,000 visitors attend or utilize the facility yearly. Through exhibits, educational programs, the archives, and special activities, the Museum continuously explores the African American experience and accomplishments of the past and present to further advance the education of the future.
The DuSable Black History Museum and Education Center was founded in February 1961 by husband and wife team, Dr. Margaret Taylor Burroughs and Charles Burroughs, on the ground floor of their home. Its purpose was to educate the public about Black history, culture, and art. The museum was originally named the Ebony Museum of Negro History and Art.
Board of Trustees
Patrick McGee, Chairman
Sandya Dandamudi, Vice Chair
Patricia Knazze, Vice Chair & Civic Liaison
John C. Sciaccotta, Esq., Vice Chair
Franz Mullings, Treasurer
Lisa Pilot, Assistant Treasurer
Wendy Walker Williams, Secretary
Wendi Taylor Nations, Assistant Secretary
Sheila Wilson-Freelon, Esq., MDiv., Parliamentarian
Perri L. Irmer, Esq., President & CEO
Patrick H. Arbor
Carol Moseley Braun
Emeka Chris Eze
Paula Jill Krasny, Esq.
Jeffrey E. Sterling, MD
Senator Donne E. Trotter
Honorable Desireé Watkins