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News Release

Date: February 2, 2009
Media Contacts: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Marcus Rosano, 240-567-4022

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Founding Director of National Museum of African American History and Culture To Speak at Montgomery College, Feb. 11.
Lonnie Bunch to Address the Importance of Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, will give a talk, entitled “Retelling the African American Story: The Importance of Black History Month,” from 10–11 a.m. at Montgomery College. The event will take place in the Theatre Arts Arena on the College’s Rockvillle Campus, 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, Md. This event is free and open to the public.

Lonnie Bunch is an author, curator, educator and historian who has spent nearly 30 years in the museum field, where he is regarded as a leading figure in the cultural-historical community. Prior to his appointment as the director of the NMAAHC, Bunch served as the president of the Chicago Historical Society, one of the nation’s oldest museums of history. In 2005, he was named one of the 100 most influential museum professionals in the 20th century by the American Association of Museums. 

Following the talk, Montgomery College professors who have participated in a selective fellowship program with the Smithsonian Institution will present their work. The first round of Smithsonian Faculty Fellows will give presentations beginning at 11 a.m. The second round will begin that evening at 5 p.m. The showcases consist of 10-12 minute presentations by each participating professor.

Since 1998, Montgomery College and the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies have collaborated on the Smithsonian Faculty Fellowship program—the first of its kind between the Smithsonian Institution and a community college. The year-long seminar program helps faculty members gain new insight and ideas that can be integrated into one or more of their courses. It also encourages faculty to create assignments that require visits to the Smithsonian Institution for research and learning opportunities.

The visit by Lonnie Bunch is a collaboration of the Paul Peck Humanities Institute, the Rockville Campus Office of Student Development and the Black/African-American History Month Committee at Montgomery College.

For more information, please contact Esther Schwartz-Mckinzie at (240)-567-5170 or e-mail her at esther.mckinzie@montgomerycollege.edu.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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