Laurel History Boys Lecture at Montpelier Museum

Free Lecture by the Laurel History Boys at the Montpelier Museum in Laurel, MD

The Montpelier  Museum announces a talk by the Laurel History Boys on Saturday, October 15 at 3pm.  The LHBs will share stories, photos and memorabilia from the Montpelier area’s retail and housing history, going back to the 1950s.  Don’t miss your chance to reminisce about the old days (or learn about them if you weren’t around)!  Spread the word!  Come with friends!  Add to the conversation, and share your own tales of this area’s history. 

See attached flier for more information. 


This Thursday: Exhibit Opening at College Park Aviation Museum

You are Invited to the Exhibit Opening


Over Here & Over There: College Park and Prince George’s County in World War I


at the College Park Aviation Museum

Thursday, March 24
6 – 8 p.m.  – FREE
Drop in to be one of the first to see the exhibit and enjoy light refreshments.

Explore the development of aircraft, discover how the first military pilots influenced aviation during and after WWI and learn about the role of Prince George’s County and its residents during the war.

Post-Symposium Thoughts

Symposium on Museum Scholarship and Material Culture of Prince George’s County: Starting the Conversation

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Dr. Judith Freidenberg gives opening remarks at the Symposium

This past Tuesday, Dec. 8th, the MSMC Certificate held a symposium to discuss ways in which the University of Maryland and museum and cultural organizations in Prince George’s County can better collaborate. It was well attended with over 35 participants representing over 20 museums and cultural organizations in the county.

The following notes provide a summary of topics discussed and key points made by speakers and attendees, followed by a reflection of the event by one of the Certificate students.

Use - IMG_20151208_171427_385Dr. Judith Freidenberg, Director of the Museum Scholarship and Material Culture Graduate Certificate program at the University of Maryland opened the evening with remarks about the purpose of the symposium. She highlighted the importance of creating stronger links between the University and the cultural and museum organizations in the county, especially for the Museum Certificate students who are preparing to enter the field as new professionals. Dr. Freidenberg also explained that this will be a conversation about “how to best work collectively to address common issues and problems.”

Four speakers addressed symposium participants beginning with Dean Gregory Ball of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences at the University of Maryland. Dean Ball spoke of his support of this event, having grown up in Prince George’s County and fondly remembering museum experiences.

Dean Ball said,“universities and museums are significant cultural institutions which can change the conversation” and incorporate new methods into museums and academia.

Susan Pearl, Historian with the Prince George’s County Historical Society gave a brief history of the county, drawing on the rich cultural outlets since its founding. Cities like Upper Marlboro, Bladensburg, Piscataway, and College Park have had a long history of theater, art, musical performance, and exhibits which continue to thrive today.

Use - IMG_20151208_172540_657The rich history and culture in the County that Mrs. Pearl described was echoed by John Peter Thompson, Chair of the Prince George’s County Historic Preservation Commission. He spoke about the county’s over 500 historic sites which provide opportunities to explore many aspects of the county’s cultures and history. He spoke highly of the resources at the Prince George’s Historical Society library open to anyone and located in the Greenbelt Library building with special collections pertaining to the county and beyond.

Aaron Marcavitch, Director of Maryland Milestones, described the importance of “Heritage areas” as cultural landscapes created to preserve the meaning of these spaces without owning or restricting the land. He engaged participants to consider the benefits of making tourism work for the small and sometimes remote museums and organizations in the county.

Think about local museums and organizations as an alternative form of recreation to mainstream tourist locations in Washington, DC., he exhorted.

The speakers set the tone for the conversations that happened around each table of symposium participants. Issues discussed included:

  • How to better represent the diversity of the County’s history?
  • Addressing the transient population within the county
  • Engaging stakeholders – getting people to care about and invest in cultural organizations
  • Leveraging County projects like new construction and transportation outlets to get better signage for smaller museums
  • How to better work with the public schools
  • Uniting museum “Friends Groups” to discuss shared challenges
  • Acknowledging what museum staff don’t know in order to address gaps
  • Creating new ways to track visitors
  • Better awareness of home school opportunities – bulletin boards, parent groups, brochures, as field trip sites
  • Use social media to connect with broader audiences outside of the museum spaces

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Once groups shared their conversations about common issues, Dr. Freidenberg asked

“What are your organizations are good at? How can we use these successes to help each other?”

Some responses included:

Then the discussion led to ideas about improving communication and resource access between the University of Maryland, College Park and the County museums and organizations. Comments included:

  • How to connect students with organizations for class projects and internships
    • The Prince George’s Historical Society reported 5 graduate students working on projects through word-of-mouth references
  • Can county organizations have access to University library resources?
  • Two-way sharing between individual organizations and the Museum Certificate program via website (
    • Announce events, internships, write a guest post about an important topic, or contribute an exhibit review, etc.
  • Contact the Museum Certificate program about hosting the Certificate’s graduate class on a tour of your museum, or hosting a graduate student for their practicum project.


Reflection from a Student

Sarah Janesko
Masters of Applied Anthropology Student
Museum Scholarship and Material Culture Certificate student
Class of 2016

This event was successful in bringing people together in a single room to talk about relevant issues. It was successful because everyone who attended cares about their organization and community. It was successful because participants were not afraid to talk about what is lacking in their organizations, and about what goes right.

There is a lot to be said for the presence of University faculty, a dean, students and local museum and material cultural professionals starting a conversation together in one room. However, big issues were discussed that can’t be easily solved in 2 or 3 hours. Getting to “success” in the long-term will involve action by all parties to continue the conversation.

It felt similar to our seminars as part of the Certificate program. Students discuss scholarship issues around the classroom table and then visit museums and talk to the directors and curators about how they handle community partnership, collections management, accessibility, diversity and many other issues. Understanding how different museums implement the scholarship in their daily work and programs is critical to reproducing those successes elsewhere.

Hopefully, this is what the Symposium has started with the museums in Prince George’s County – thinking about 1) what programs, initiatives and goals were successful, and 2) the ways to receive help from and 3) give help to other museums and organizations working toward similar goals.

Has your school, organization, museum, historical society had luck with partnerships like this? What made them successful in the long-run?

Last Chance – Greenbelt Museum Excursion this Friday

Don’t forget to RSVP ( for the  Greenbelt Museum tour happening this Friday, November 13th (yes, we know…Friday the 13th).


Save your spot on the tour by Tuesday (11/10) afternoon! We’ll even give you a ride – just let us know you’re coming.

Since the Greenbelt Museum tours are only offered on Sundays, this is a unique opportunity to visit this New Deal Era house museum and community center for free. Start your weekend right with local history, culture, and art!

Questions, comments and RSVPs can be directed to Sarah at

Symposium on Museums in Prince George’s County


Join a conversation about working collectively to address common issues faced by historical, cultural, and museum organizations in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Be part of the effort of Museum Scholarship and Material Culture Certificate program to connect the University of Maryland with surrounding cultural and historical institutions in Prince George’s County.

Tuesday, December 8th from 5:00-8:00 pm

Benjamin Banneker Room 2212-B
The Stamp Student Union
University of Maryland, College Park

This symposium is geared toward new and seasoned professionals invested in museum issues: students, community members, and professionals of historical, cultural, and museum organizations in Prince George’s County.

Please RSVP by November 10th to with the number of people in your group who will attend and a key issue you’d like to discuss at the symposium.

Symposium Flyer1

The Symposium will feature opening remarks by key speakers followed by group discussions on issues over food and drinks. It will close with attendees reflecting on ways to address issues collectively inside and outside of the University.

Free Parking is available in Lots Z and 1b just west of the The Stamp Student Union.

Join the conversation over food and drinks on December 8th!


Free Museum Excursion, Oct. 17th!

This is the first of two “museum excursions” that the University of Maryland’s Certificate in Museum Scholarship and Material Culture (MSMC) is hosting this year to connect the University community with surrounding cultural organizations in Prince George’s County, Maryland.

On Saturday, October 17,  from 2-4 PM come to the opening event of the Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center’s (PGAAMCC) NOW Photography exhibition. Now is a contemporary photography exhibition that celebrates present-day life and culture of Prince George’s County. This collection of images, by professional and amateur photographers, offers a sweeping vision of the people, places, events, and sprawling landscapes that define this highly influential and diverse county that also boasts the most affluent and educated predominately African American population in the United States. Come find out what this community-centered museum is all about.

The MSMC is providing free transportation from the University of Maryland College Park campus to this event. If you are interested in transportation, RSVP to Sarah Janesko at Transportation is limited and will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Details about where to meet will follow.

Check out the flyer! And visit the PGAAMCC website.

Internships with museum in Prince George’s County

The Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMCC) is looking to take on three museum scholars as interns. The job descriptions are linked in the post below and describe the responsibilities and learning opportunities for the:

  • Museum Administration Internship – As a Museum Management Intern you will work under the close direction of the Museum’s Executive Director and be given the flexibility and guidance to lead and manage projects while at the same time supporting overall organizational objectives.
  • Museum Collections Internship – The museum intern will work with the Chief Curator and the Gallery Coordinator on the overall care and management of the Museum’s collections as well as the operations of gallery. The intern will gain knowledge and experience in gallery maintenance and basic object preservation activities.
  • Social Media Internship – The social media intern will assist the social media specialist with the creation and implementation of the marketing strategy through digital media, marketing projects (digital media marketing and print marketing), and social media.

Internships are available year-round and the museum staff accepts three (3) per semester. Individual responsibilities are determined by the educational background and work experience of the intern, as well as the needs of the museum. These positions are unpaid but hours are flexible (MondayFriday from 10 AM – 4 PM and Saturday 12 PM – 4 PM). Interns are expected to commit at least 2 days a week to PGAAMCC. The diverse in-depth experience that interns experience working at PGAAMCC make this an ideal opportunity for an undergraduate or graduate student in history, anthropology, archaeology, museum studies, library science, sociology, and related fields.

To apply, email Jon West-Bey with your resume.

Sharing Our Stories Event 5/31 Updated!

On Sunday, May 31, 2-5pm, the Prince George’s County African American Museum and Cultural Center (PGAAMCC) is hosting an event called “Sharing Our Stories” and will feature speakers from three communities in the County; Lakeland, Lincoln, and Seabrook Acres. You can view the Facebook event here:




Stop by the museum to hear stories from local residents and view the Museum’s exhibit space at 4519 Rhode Island Avenue, North Brentwood, MD 20722. For more information about the Museum visit their website:

Parking information for the event: Please reserve the limited parking spaces in the PGAAMCC parking lot for our elderly residents and residents with disabilities. Plenty of free parking is available adjacent to PGAAMCC in front of the M’Diener and Fixtures Plus storefronts. That parking lot entrance is immediately south of the museum lot’s entrance.