Mural by Ben F Jones


African American
Cultural Committee
AACC Mission and History
The African American Cultural Committee (AACC) at MAM is a group of dedicated artists, community leaders, and individuals vested in showcasing the diverse artistic expression of African American culture. The AACC is actively engaged in the life of the Montclair Art Museum.

The Committee was founded in the 1980s by artists Ben F. Jones, Janet Taylor Pickett, and writer Valerie Wilson Wesley with a mission to sustain and maintain the legacy of artists of the African Diaspora. 
In its advocacy role, the AACC is a bridge between the Museum and various communities, forging meaningful connections through outreach and programs, shared values, and vision on a local and international level. The AACC's goal is to ensure that these outstanding artistic contributions will be enjoyed and valued by future generations.

From the Committee Chair

"The African American Cultural Committee (AACC)  has worked closely with the Montclair Art Museum for over 40 years, showcasing the diverse artistic expression of African American culture. As Chair of the AACC, I am proud of the work and dedication of my fellow committee members who continue to make meaningful connections through engaging outreach and programs celebrating Black culture.”

William Skeet Jiggetts

A headshot of William Jiggetts, AACC Chair, wearing a suit, in front of student artwork at MAM.
Join the AACC

The AACC hosts monthly meetings and discussions.

For more information about the AACC and to learn how to join, email [email protected]

A group of AACC members with Reggie Workman and his band.
Events & Programming

The AACC presents and co-hosts annual programs at the Montclair Art Museum, including Art Meets Jazz, the Annual Film Forum, conversations, film screenings, book talks, and more.

REggie workman and band members performing on stage
Ben F. Jones Scholarship

The vision of the Ben Jones Scholarship is for students to have transformative experiences in the visual arts through exploring their creative voice, building portfolios and personal connections, and increasing confidence and self-esteem. This scholarship is available for high school students ages 16+ to take adult Yard School of Art classes or workshops during the school year or summer. The scholarship is for students from households demonstrating financial need and covers tuition and the art supplies required for the class.

This scholarship will be available for application for spring 2022 classes. 

Teen students working on art projects
In the Galleries

East Orange native Ayana V. Jackson’s work was featured in an AACC program in 2020 and acquired by the Museum shortly after. She has a particular interest in the 19th and early 20th century representation of Black women and often casts herself in the role of historic figures. With this relatively new work, Jackson has created her own mythological references as a sort of Afrofuturism. 

Ayana V. Jackson (b. 1977)

The rupture was the story, 2019

Archival pigment print on German etching paper

25 5/8 x 42 7/8 in.

Edition of 8 plus 3 artist’s proofs, #4/8

Museum Purchase 2021.3

Image of Ayana Jackson's 'The Rupture was the story"
AACC Leadership


Ben Jones, international artist and art professor

Janet Taylor Pickett, artist, art professor and former AACC Committee Chair

Valerie Wilson Wesley, author and journalist


Programming Committee Co-chairs

Joyce Harley and Matilda Williams

Committee Chair

William Skeet Jiggetts 


Past Committee Chairs

Sharon Burton Turner

Wanda R. Croudy

Headshot of Ben Jones
Ben Jones

International artist and art professor

AACC Founder

Headshot of Janet Taylor Pickett
Janet Taylor Pickett

Artist, art professor and former AACC Committee Chair

AACC Founder

Valerie Wilson Westley headshot
Valerie Wilson Wesley

Author and journalist

AACC Founder