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Lonnie G. Bunch III, the newly appointed Secretary of the Smithsonian, will discuss his new book A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump at the Apollo Theater in New York City Tuesday, Oct. 1. Bunch will be in conversation with Gayle King, anchor of CBS This Morning, to discuss his personal and professional journey to create a national museum that was a century in the making.
This event is part of a national book tour featuring several cities in 2019. Upcoming tour stops include:
- Oct. 14 – The African American Museum in Philadelphia, a Smithsonian Affiliate (This event is private, but open to the media.)
- Oct. 15 – The Museum of the American Revolution, Philadelphia
In conversation with Scott Stephenson, museum president and chief executive
- Oct. 23 – Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, Boston
In conversation with Henry Louis “Skip” Gates, director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University
- Oct. 24 – The Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
- Nov. 16 – Nate Holden Theater, Los Angeles
About the Book
A Fool’s Errand is the story of how one man was tasked with leading the team that created a preeminent cultural institution to document the African American story and show how that story is the quintessential American story.
This is an inside account of how Bunch planned and managed more than a decade of work leading up to the opening of the museum. It informs and inspires not only readers working in museums, educational institutions and activist groups, but also those in the nonprofit and business worlds who wish to understand how to succeed in the face of major political and financial challenges.
Outlining the challenges of choosing a construction site, commissioning a team of architects, raising more than $400 million, designing exhibitions and building a collection of nearly 40,000 objects, Bunch also delves into his personal struggles including the stress of a high-profile undertaking.
About the Author
Bunch is the founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and is now Secretary of the Smithsonian. Before becoming the museum’s director, he was the president of the Chicago Historical Society and the associate director for curatorial affairs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Bunch is also co-author of The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden (Smithsonian Books, 2000) and From No Return: The 221-Year Journey of the Slave Ship São José (Smithsonian Books, 2017).
About the National Museum of African American History and Culture
Since opening Sept. 24, 2016, the National Museum of African American History and Culture has welcomed more than 6 million visitors. Occupying a prominent location next to the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the nearly 400,000-square-foot museum is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive cultural destination devoted exclusively to exploring, documenting and showcasing the African American story and its impact on American and world history. For more information about the museum, visit nmaahc.si.edu, follow @NMAAHC on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or call Smithsonian information at (202) 633-1000.
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