California African American Museum fills key positions
LOS ANGELES—Following months of challenges to fill key positions at the California African American Museum (CAAM), Executive Director Charmaine Jefferson has announced three new hires to fill long-standing vacancies. These recent hires include a research librarian, a visual arts curator and a history curator.
Born and raised in South Los Angeles, CAAM’s new History Curator Program Manager Javon Johnson earned his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in performance studies with certificates in African American and gender studies. Johnson completed the Visions & Voices Provost’s Post Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Southern California. Housed in USC’s Department of American Studies and Ethnicity, he taught African American Popular Culture; Race, Gender & Sexuality; and Race and Class in Los Angeles.
“I aspire to make history come alive in ways that will make our stories equally attractive to young audiences and history enthusiasts alike,” Johnson said.
Vida L. Brown joined CAAM as its Visual Arts Curator Program Manager to develop, curate and manage visual art exhibitions and collaborations with colleagues, artists and others on programs and events. Brown earned a Bachelor of Arts in industrial psychology from Pepperdine University and a Master’s Degree in public arts studies from USC. Having managed more than 60 art projects, her scope ranges from developing public art policies, facilitating training sessions, curating art exhibitions, conceptualizing and implementing events to collaborating on design teams.
“It is with passion, leadership, team spirit and perseverance that I have continued to serve on boards, committees, community engagement projects and youth mentoring programs for the awareness and inclusion of the arts in multifaceted environments,” Brown said.
As CAAM’s new research librarian, Denise L. Mc Iver is managing projects to upgrade library operations and is responsible for the information needs of CAAM’s curatorial and programming staff, scholars, students and the general public. Mc Iver will also develop programming to promote and increase public access to CAAM’s Research Library and Information Center. A graduate from Fordham University in New York, Mc Iver earned a Bachelor’s Degree in cultural anthropology. Mc Iver also earned a Master’s Degree in library science from St. John’s University. She is the author of the Random House title, “Droppin’ Science: Straight Up Talk From Hip Hop’s Greatest Voices,” and was a contributing essayist of “Black Like Me?” which appeared in the collection of “A Family Affair: What it Means to be African American Today.
The California African American Museum researches, collects, preserves and interprets for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans. Located at 600 State Drive in Exposition Park, the museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission and workshop participation are free.