Aerial view of Fisk University in Nashville, TN

NASHVILLE, TN — Fisk University is thrilled to announce that the Galleries have been awarded a $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. This two-year grant will support the conservation of the collection and capacity building by improving infrastructure and providing additional staff. This grant specifically includes funding for a Registrar and Collection Manager, as well as Gallery Coordinators to help make Fisk’s extraordinary collection more accessible to students and members of the community.

“We are extremely grateful for the support from the Mellon Foundation” said the Director of the Fisk Galleries, Jamaal B. Sheats. “This Grant is an endorsement of the successes from our past and present exhibitions, programs, and community engagement. Support from the Mellon Foundation will enable us to amplify our collections, advocate for more scholarship and advance our infrastructure in a way that promotes improvements and sustainable growth for the future.”

The added positions will support the continual refinement of the database management system and further expand the daily operations of the Galleries. The Galleries have experienced significant growth over the past few years and according to Fisk President Vann Newkirk, “The Galleries are a crucial component of the Fisk future.” Van Newkirk continues, “Director Sheats is continually increasing engagement through exhibitions, developing new programs and we are absolutely delighted by the support of the Mellon Foundation.”

In addition to improving Fisk’s overall storage facilities, the conservation focus will be on the African modernist collection for the upcoming exhibition, African Modernism in America, 1947–1967. This exhibition will occur in partnership with American Federation for the Arts and is set to tour in 2022.