How Is Your Organization Celebrating Black History Month?


By: Sarah Marczynski

In: Community Engagement

Beginning in 1926, organizations across the country celebrated Negro History Week, first established in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson to “raise awareness of African American’s contributions to civilization.” In 1976, the celebration was expanded to a month and President Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

How Is Your Organization Celebrating Black History Month

Organizations across the country participate during February, with many arts organizations highlighting artists of color important to their medium or using art to call to attention the contributions, struggles, and history of African Americans.

The Kennedy Center’s online teaching center ArtsEdge, which has some really great offerings in all artistic disciplines, has an index of more than 60 posts focused on African American history and artists with several lessons geared towards elementary school grades.

The National Education Association also has a devoted page with lesson plans about artists or using the arts and background resources that would be helpful in preparing education or engagement initiatives.

As organizations begin to program 2016/17 and beyond and as you look to future community engagement and educational programs and celebrations of culture, look at how to include a diverse, year long celebration of all peoples and cultures.

Photo of author
Sarah Marczynski
Sarah joined the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera in 2010 working with the Marketing and Development staffs and quickly became interested in community engagement and education. She holds a Master’s of Public Administration focusing in Nonprofit Arts Management from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where her capstone and other work under Dr. Christopher Horne examined attendance patterns in high-art cultural institutions and network relationships between local arts agencies and cultural partners. She also holds a Bachelor’s of Vocal Music Education from UTC, where she studied under Dr. Kevin Ford and Ron Ulen. Sarah has been active in the Chattanooga arts community, serving as the founding chair of the Chattanooga Young Artistic Network (CYAN), graduating from the Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute, and working with the Chattanooga Boys Choir, the Choral Arts Society, the Hunter Museum of American Art, the Chattanooga Bach Choir. Outside of the arts world, Sarah pretends to be an excellent cook (but she's broken 2 ovens), reads Jane Austen novels, and watches way too much House of Cards.
Author Archive

Leave a Comment