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.
"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
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.
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 throught age 20 to take teen or 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.
The AACC Founders Fellowship is designed to honor the founding members of the AACC by providing career and growth opportunities for recent African American graduates of master’s or doctoral programs in visual arts and/or art history. This 10-month Fellowship is available for those with a graduation date after December 31, 2019. Candidates who anticipate graduating before June 30, 2023 may also apply.
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
Ben Jones, international artist and art professor
Janet Taylor Pickett, artist, art professor and former AACC Committee Chair
Valerie Wilson Wesley, author and journalist
William Skeet Jiggetts
Past Committee Chairs
Sharon Burton Turner
Wanda R. Croudy
International Artist & Art Professor
Artist, Art Professor, & Former AACC Committee Chair
Author & Journalist