Below are statements by candidates (listed alphabetically) seeking nomination to positions at ACASA. Links are included that will take you to the candidate’s bio and CV.
I am particularly enthusiastic about becoming part of ACASA’s board as I continue to gain experience in arts administration and leadership at the National Museum of African Art (NMAfA). I enjoy the challenges presented by my post as Special Assistant to the Director with the Museum and I would like to continue to assist in fostering links among ACASA and institutions, artists and scholars in Africa and globally.
Although I work in a museum, I am not a curator. With an arts administration, budgetary, and especially an African art focus, I offer a skillset that may be a good complement to the needs of the ACASA board. I aspire to serve as either the Treasurer or the Facebook Manager. In either post, I’d like to see ACASA’s membership numbers expand and the benefits of membership outlined sufficiently as one means to accomplish this.
The Triennial is just one of the many programmatic and organizational benefits that ACASA provides. I am happy to volunteer to contribute to the Triennial and ACASA’s regular efforts as well as further innovations as we continue to grow and change as an organization with increasing capacity for outreach.
See here for Kris’s Bio and CV
Candace M. Keller
I have been a proud member of ACASA for over twenty years and would be honored to serve on its Board of Directors in 2021-24. Having served on the Advisory Board for the Mande Studies Association (MANSA) from 2012-14, I welcome the opportunity to participate in the sustained, thoughtful discussions that will inform the future of the association and its priorities. This is particularly important in the present moment, which calls on us to engage longstanding ethical questions, including debates regarding the restitution and repatriation of African art and material culture, via inclusive practices that promote diversity and equity across all areas of the field. As a scholar and professor of African Art and Visual Culture at Michigan State University, I share the association’s values of promoting African arts and cultures in a manner that is inclusive, collaborative, and in partnership with artists, students, and scholars in Africa. I have sought to embody these values in my work by centering local aesthetics and theoretical frameworks within the study of photographic practice in Mali and partnering with photographers, archival custodians, conservators, researchers, and students in Bamako on projects, such as The Archive of Malian Photography (http://amp.matrix.msu.edu/), that maintain the highest ethical standards in cultural heritage preservation and accessibility. If elected, I would be glad to serve as Secretary or as a liaison to the African Studies Association (ASA).
See here for Candace’s Bio and CV
Amanda M. Maples
I am writing to nominate myself for the Board of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association (ACASA) beginning 2021 with a preference, in order of interest, for the position of Secretary, Newsletter Editor, or Facebook Manager. At present I am serving on the CAA Annual Conference Council of Readers (2019-2021), Dialogue Editor for African Arts, and Secretary for the Steering Committee of the Benin Dialogue Group. While this would be my first position serving on ACASA’s Board, I am eager to apply my expertise and skills in any way useful. I bring to the position sixteen years of experience working with African arts, primarily in university and museum settings. In addition, I have taught at the university level, supervised and mentored students and interns, developed and managed conferences and databases, as well as given various scholarly and public lectures. I am committed to academic research and writing for both scholarly and general audiences. I also strongly believe in making African arts research widely available and accessible, not only to academic audiences, but to the general public. My recent work advocates for ethical museum practices, particularly in regards to provenance research, transparency, and the more equitable circulation of objects globally. My ability to multi-task, write for multiple audiences, and serve in other capacities as an editor and a secretary thus makes me an ideal candidate for a position on the ACASA Board. Please find my short bio below and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to call or write.
See here for Amanda’s Bio and CV
I am submitting my name for positions as either the Social Media Manager or ASA Liaison for the ACASA Board. As a scholar who has straddled the academic and curatorial sides of the professional African art community, I hope that my experience as a highly collaborative university colleague, external consultant, and even a scholarly editor will bring skillsets to the board that will be of service.
As a faculty member, I have served as the Chair of three successful hiring committees, the Director of Undergraduate Studies for my department, At-Large Elected Representative on my college’s Faculty Council, and Director for the interdisciplinary Humanities Network and Consortium for my university. I have served as the Exhibitions Review Editor for North America for African Arts, and have completed numerous peer-reviews for a variety of journals and presses. As a curator, I have worked with museum colleagues in the U.S., South Africa, the U.K, Taiwan, Germany, and Switzerland. I believe strongly in regional and international collaboration. Like so many of us, I have put in the service work that supports my own institution, and now I would like to set aside more time for the ACASA Board.
Finally, as a Development Board member for the AP Art History exams since 2016, I have been advocating for the increased visibility and rigorous coverage of African art in broader educational circles. This experience has placed me in contact with a wide range of non-specialists. As an ACASA board member, I will bring my enthusiasm for increased engagement with and attention on African art and art histories as we advocate for our discipline and organization.
See here for Elizabeth’s Bio and CV
It is an honor to have been nominated to submit a candidate statement for the ACASA board, and it would be my great pleasure to have the opportunity to contribute to the organization in whatever capacity would be most useful. As a new scholar entering the field at such a transformative moment in museum and academic cultures, I feel a great responsibility to establish new initiatives that will move our organization forward in ways that capitalize upon the solid base of strengths built from the work accomplished by those who have come before us. For me this includes a greater focus on the expansion and development of leveraged partnerships—especially with institutions based in Africa—and greater breadth and diversity in global education and mentoring efforts. Art history is a second career for me and I am passionate about the future of the field, especially with so many possibilities in digital applications. The depth and variety in my earlier life and professional experiences—in project management, international marketing, graphic design, and creative direction—leads to uncommon considerations that I hope will promote innovative contributions and insights. Of the positions available in these elections, my first preference would be to serve as Secretary, and my second preference would be to serve as Newsletter Editor or Facebook Manager.
See here for Janet’s Bio and CV
Some time ago, I received a mail, apologizing that the ACASA’s website would be unavailable for a while because of renewal issue. It clearly suggested that someone is probably needed to be monitoring the constant uptime of ACASA’s website. By first preference, I wish to serve as a Website Editor of ACASA or the second preference as a Newsletter Editor. It would be one of my greatest volunteering achievements especially outside the shore of my country and continent. It is also going to be a unique privilege for me to deploy my technical competence in graphic/web design and job roles that I have acquired for about two decades. Apart from that, I will be available to provide regularly updates of the website and newsletter’s contents both texts and graphics. Most importantly, I will be willing to work with the ACASA’s board to communicate the vision, mission and decisions of ACASA both to her members and non-members and also to discharge any other duties that may arise. I hope the ACASA board finds my statement, bio and CV considerable for the advertised relevant position of a Website Editor/Newsletter Editor. Thank you.
See here for Kehinde’s Bio and CV
In a moment of transition and positive momentum—in the academy, in the museum, and among the generations—we need to consider what ACASA can and should be in the next decade of the 21st century. If elected to the Executive Board, I aim to work proactively with our colleagues across the world and especially in Africa to interest, motivate, and train the next generation of scholars/curators, and to support professionals at all stages of their careers with up-to-date resources. Increasing ACASA’s professional development offerings, as well as supporting its signature events like the Triennial, would be a major focus of my time on the board if elected. Expanding related resources on its website is also key, whether steering young scholars towards grants or providing established professionals with resources such as guides to cultural heritage laws. Broader organizational visibility, efforts towards inclusivity in all its forms (including family-friendly in-person conference facilities, increased travel funds, and digital events), and mentorship programs are also projects I would help the organization pursue. Finally, I would advocate for reaching out to members to learn what they need from ACASA, and to guide activities based on this information; we only grow stronger together. With experience as a curator, museum educator, and lecturer, as well as a background in graphic design and marketing, I bring a wide variety of knowledge and practical skills to the table in support of our organization (see CV). ACASA is unique among professional organizations for the both the talent and warmth of its members; it would be an honor to serve on the Executive Board, and to welcome new members into the ACASA family. Thank you for your consideration.
Preferred board role: 1) Newsletter Editor; 2) Secretary
See here for Kristen’s Bio and CV