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(RIVERSIDE, CA)  The Association of African American Museums (AAAM) is in final negotiations with the Riverside Convention and Visitors Bureau to host the 38th annual AAAM conference in downtown Riverside in August 2016. 

The conference covers three days, attracting more than 1,000 curators, historians, librarians, museum professionals and cultural leaders from 200 museums, libraries and institutes from around the world. 
“We are pleased to select Riverside, California as the finalist for our 2016 conference,” said Samuel W. Black, AAAM President, and Director of African American Programs at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 
The Association of African American Museums (AAAM) is a non-profit organization established to support African and African American focused museums nationally and internationally, as well as the professionals who protect, preserve and interpret African and African American art, history and culture.
“We are excited that the City of Riverside was chosen as the location for the 2016 conference,” said Charles Bibbs, art committee chair.  “We are planning the largest exhibit of African-American art and culture on the West Coast.”
Riverside is the host city and the Dora Nelson African American Art and History Museum in Perris, is the host museum in collaboration with Riverside African American Historical Society, The Black Voice Foundation and the Riverside Convention & Visitors Bureau.  
“This is an exciting opportunity for more than 1,000 African-American museum leaders to visit Riverside and showcase African-American Culture and to experience the region’s culture,” said Debbie Megna, executive director of the Riverside Convention and Visitors Bureau.  “This event will generate income for the convention center and our region’s businesses, hotels, restaurants and encourage shopping with local malls, shops, stores and vendors.”
To take advantage of hosting world’s foremost authorities in the preservation and promotion of African-American Culture to downtown Riverside, the Riverside African-American Festival Committee is planning to host a week long African-American Cultural Celebration to coincide with the conference.  
“The addition of a week long African-American Cultural Celebration will increase the number of visitors to more than 10,000 people, generating more revenue to our city and increasing Riverside’s international cultural significance,” said Carl M. Dameron, Committee Chair.
“We are excited about to the opportunity to showcase the Cities of Riverside and Perris and the region as a cultural hub.  We plan to celebrate African American culture by partnering with the area’s leading artists, museums, theaters, schools, colleges and universities to showcase world class exhibits of African American art, photography, film, theater, history and music,” said Dameron.
Previous AAAM conferences were held in major eastern cities including Charlotte, North Carolina; Washington D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; Tallahassee, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Birmingham, Alabama; St. Louis, Missouri and the farthest west, Denver, Colorado.
The Riverside AAAM Conference 2016 is charged with raising the funds to host the conference.  The initial fundraising goal is $15,000, with a third of the funds already committed.  The committee is looking for business and community organizations, along with local leaders for sponsorships and advertising at the conference.   
Contact Carl M. Dameron at (909) 534-9500 for more information on sponsorships, advertising and promotions.
The Riverside African-American Festival Committee members include Chair, Carl Dameron, Creative Director of Dameron Communications; AAAM Conference Co-Chairs, Lovella Singer, CEO of the Dora Nelson African American Art & History Museum (DNAAAHM) in Perris and Dr. Ruth Jackson, Director Tuskegee Airman Archive, University of California, Riverside and Charles Bibbs, Arts Coordinator Chair.
Additional committee chairs include: Site, Transportation and Logistics, Debbie Megna; Treasurer/Finance, Rose Mayes; President Riverside African American Historical Society and Sue Strickland, Lynne Taylor, DNAAAHM Treasurer; Hardy Brown II, Black Voice Foundation, museum consultant; Dave Stuart, City of Perris Museum Consultant; Sarah Wolk, Western Region Outreach Coordinator; Shirley Johnson, Chair of DNAAAHM Board of Directors; Katie Keyes, Perris Valley Museum Historical Association; and Patricia Korzac, March Air Museum.
For more information on the Riverside AAAM 2016 Conference contact Debbie Megna at (951) 222-4700.
About Riverside Association of African American Museums (AAAM) 2016
Riverside AAAM 2016 is a collaboration of several agencies that attracted the 2016 Association of African American Museum Conference to Riverside.  Their mission is to promote the positive interpretation of African and African American art, history and culture in the Inland Empire.  The group will also develop and promote an annual African American Cultural Festival in downtown Riverside to protect, preserve, interpret and commemorate African American/Black culture. 
About The Association of African American Museums (AAAM)
The Association of African American Museums (AAAM) is a non-profit member organization established to support African and African American focused museums nationally and internationally, as well as the professionals who protect, preserve and interpret African and African American art, history and culture.
Established as the single representative and principal voice of the African American museum movement, the Association seeks to strengthen and advocate for the interests of institutions and individuals committed to the preservation of African-derived cultures.
The services provided by AAAM enhance the ability of those museums to serve the needs and interests of persons of African ancestry and those who wish to know more about the art, history and culture of African-derived cultures.
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