United States Cultural Envoy, US Embassy South America

(Colombia, South America), March 22 to April 2, 2011

The goal of the Museo Nacional de Colombia proposal to the US Embassy was to gain insight from an experienced U.S. museum professional on strategies and considerations for incorporating the history and culture of Afro-Colombian descent (aka Afrocolombians) into the content and visual presentation of the museum. Also, the Embassy and Museo Nacional staff saw it as an opportunity for the US Cultural Envoy’s experience, as a museum professional and United States Accreditation Commissioner, to be shared with Museum Studies students and other professionals. The other topics added to the roster were issues of standards, collections, education and accreditation, along with related topics involving management of cultural property. The expanded opportunity entailed the US Cultural Envoy’s travel to Bogota, Medellin, Quibdo and Barranquilla. A major theme over the twelve-day experience was how institutions can build “public trust” and expand involvement of the community, including Afrocolombians.

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