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Content development consulting for the exhibit design team led by Ralph Appelbaum Associates. Smithsonian Institution: National Museum of African-American History and Culture. Since 2011.

Whose 25 million minds? Those are tourist figures estimated by the National Park Service measuring visitation to the National Mall. The Smithsonian’s challenge: less than half of those visitors alight on the museums which flank the vast park and its monuments.

The opportunity? Situated between White House, Washington Monument and the Smithsonian’s American History Center, the new NMAAHC is potentially a “front porch” institution greeting the entire national and international community of millions of visitors who make the DC “pilgrimage.”  The opportunity to share and participate with people who may or may not make “Black history” their destination, but including all in a potentially transformative set of experiences.

Todd Palmer was part of a collaborative team led by RAA, and including independent Brooklyn design studio We Should Do It All, Yolande Daniels of Studio SUMO, Local Projects and the NMAAHC curatorial staff. Palmer’s focus was facilitating a team studying a suite of galleries that frame the history of the nation through Black experiences of place, region and cooperative bonds. Anchored by collections and next generation media these stories run the gamut from entrepreneurship to worship,  Muhammad Ali to Martha’s Vineyard, Tuskegee Airmen to Angola Prisoners.

 


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