California African American Museum (CAAM) is an educational haven about the culture and history of African-Americans which is categorized under cultural heritage institution. It documents the journey of African Americans who are in California from other parts of the country and their contribution to the art and culture of California. It is situated in the state of California, Los Angeles, in Eposition Park, 600 state drive. It is at the corner of Figueroa Street and Exposition Boulevard near the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena. Visitors are advised to use the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) or visit the museum’s website for a map and more directions. CAAM is under the California Public Records Act (PRA) that gives people the right to information through institutions such as museums and archives among others. California African American Museum is formed under a partnership between the state agency and non-profit organizations including friends and the Foundation of the California African American Museum. The administration hours are weekdays from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. However, the museum galleries are opened to the public on Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.There are no admission charges other than parking which is charged at $12 during the visiting hours.
It was constructed through both the state and private funds that amounted to around 5 million dollars. The building takes an area of 44,000 square feet which is sub-divided into three exhibition galleries. The three divisions include the theater gallery, a glass ceiling sculpture court, and a conference center that hosts special events such as conferences and forums.Other departments include a research library, exhibit design department, a humidity controlled vault for artifact storage, and the registrar accession room. The organization has around 6,300 pieces of art which include an array of historical artifacts and memorabilia with more than 20,000 books that act as references. There are permanent collections that are always available in the museum with some being uploaded on their website. The main goal is to ensure that everyone can have an experience of CAAM without visiting the area physically thus enhancing efficiency. Visual arts are categorized into modern and contemporary art, naturalistic landscape of the 19th century, traditional African art, contemporary art from the African diaspora and history collection. These categories ensure that both traditional and modern artistic works by African Americans are exhibited in the same platform so that visitors can have a smooth time in viewing the arts.
The institution is guided by its mission statement that states “To research, collect, preserve, and interpret for public enrichment the history, art and culture of African Americans with an emphasis on California.” The museum President of the Board of Directors is known as Tom Hawkins and the Executive Director is known as George O. Davis. The history of CAAM is quite fascinating as it was formed in September 1977 but began its operations officially on 1981. It was housed on a temporal building which is currently the California Science Center. The institution launched its operations during the 1984 Olympic Games which makes 2016 its 28th anniversary since its inception. CAAM experienced external security threats in September 2001 forcing it to close for renovation and installing strict security measures for safety precautions. The institution is due to expand even more as per the preliminary designs on 2011 that would see it triple its current size.