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Museum Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant to support Art by African Americans

The Customs House Museum & Cultural Center has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support a project entitled “Celebrating the Legacy and Future of African American Arts.” Central to the project is the opportunity for the Clarksville community to visit one of the most comprehensive exhibitions ever organized featuring works on paper by African American artists over the last three centuries. 

The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African Art: Works on Paper is on exhibit May 9 through August 1. The 70 works in the exhibition include drawings, etchings, lithographs, watercolors, pastels, acrylics, gouaches, linoleum cuts and color screen prints by such noted artists as Ron Adams, Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, John Biggers, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Eldizer Cortor, Margaret Burroughs, and many other outstanding artists.

Kelley collection Social Media“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support the excellence and diversity of arts programs across the country, including organizations like the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center, that make the arts accessible to people in Clarksville, Tennessee, and further enhances the vitality of their community,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu.

This highly acclaimed exhibition has been featured in major museums stretching across America, and Clarksville is its only scheduled stop in a contiguous twelve-state region in our part of the country. The exhibition was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA.

“We at The Customs House Museum & Cultural Center embrace the diversity of our unique community and are proud to share and celebrate this aspect of our community’s cultural history,” said Museum Executive Director Jim Zimmer. “The NEA’s support allows us to feature this spectacular exhibition, as well as offer many related programs for all ages from May into September.”

Located at the corner of Second and Commerce Streets, the Customs House Museum is the second largest general museum in Tennessee. For more information about the museum, visit www.customshousemuseum.org  You can also contact the museum at 931-648-5780 or info@customshousemuseum.org.

nea-lockup-AThe NEA is the federal agency that supports and funds the arts to give all Americans the opportunity to experience creativity and participate in the arts. NEA programs and funding support thousands of activities in communities large and small across the country. To learn more about the National Endowment for the Arts, please visit arts.gov. Follow the conversation about this and other NEA‐funded projects on Twitter at @NEAarts.


200 South Second St., Clarksville, TN 37040931-648-5780Open: Tuesday Through Sunday • Closed Mondays