The African American Heritage Museum of Wilmington (AAHMW) will tell the African American story within North Carolina and in its greater context within America’s history. It will be a repository for artifacts and memorabilia, a space for traveling exhibitions, and a center for education, cultural enrichment and entertainment for every age, retelling the stories that shaped our community’s rich heritage.
The Museum is committed to building public awareness of the lives and contributions of African Americans across disciplines; to develop and present educational programs; and to create a living and permanent museum in Wilmington to both honor and celebrate the cultural impact African Americans have had in American society.
The three most important functions of museums are: preservation, education, and contributing to the social fabric of the community where they exist. AAHMW intends to forge partnerships with existing institutions and work closely with other preservation groups to improve physical access and historical interpretations for visitors and residents alike. The arts will play a prominent role in telling the African and African-American story and lead to greater opportunities to promote contemporary artists. The museum will initiate and support joint ventures with local arts organizations to sponsor film programs, dance performances, concerts, poetry readings, plays, and art exhibitions featuring African-American artists. So it will not be in its entirety, a structure to house artifacts and history books but a dynamic institution that will increase the amenity value of the region.