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International African American Museum to host special holiday exhibition and celebrations

International African American Museum to host “Creative Gathering” exhibition
                                                                        and special holiday celebrations

Charleston, S.C. – The International African American Museum (IAAM) has set in place the next exhibition, along with holiday observances and events running from mid-December through Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 15, 2024.

Creative Gathering: A Space for Gathering, Fellowship, and Reflectionruns from December 14, 2023, through January 14, 2024. The exhibition, which will be curated from the permanent collection of IAAM, is a month-long showcase that invites the community to delve into a cultural and thematic exploration of the African diaspora. It includes a series of seasonal celebrations designed to reflect IAAM’s commitment to fostering an understanding of African American history and its global impact.

The Creative Gathering opening kicks off with a reception on Thursday, December 14, at IAAM, 14 Wharfside Street, in downtown Charleston. Guests will have the opportunity to engage with artists whose works are featured in the exhibition and the museum’s broader collection. They may also partake in a self-guided tour of the entire museum from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. that evening. Guests can register for the reception and tour here.

Other special celebrations and events, all of which will be held at the museum, include:

  • A Kwanzaa Celebration | Storytelling
    • Dates: December 26 – December 29, 2023
    • Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    • The IAAM invites the community to daily storytelling sessions hosted by Julian Gooding. As digital media specialist for the Charleston County Public Library System and an experienced storyteller, Gooding brings to life the connections between West African tales and the narratives of enslaved peoples in America, celebrating the seven principles of Kwanzaa:
      • Umoja – to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race
      • Kujichagulia – self-determination
      • Ujima – collective work and responsibility
      • Ujamaa – cooperative economics
      • Nia – purpose
      • Kuumba – creativity
      • Imani – faith
    • Registration is not required. Program attendance is complimentary with the purchase of museum admission for the dates listed.
  • Onwards From Freedom’s Eve
  • Date: January 1, 2024
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • This event commemorates the historical significance of Freedom’s Eve and the legacy of emancipation within the Gullah Geechee and broader African American community.
  • Visit the IAAM website and follow @iaamuseum on social media to learn more.
  • IAAM KING Day of Celebration
    • Date: January 15, 2024
    • Time: 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • IAAM Bold, IAAM Powerful, IAAM Courageous, IAAM My Ancestors’ Wildest Dream, IAAM King
    • Celebrating MLK Day, this event will showcase vendors, food trucks, music, and community engagement, in celebration of the life and contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    • Visit the IAAM website and follow @iaamuseum on social media to learn more. 


The International African American Museum (IAAM) explores the history, culture, and impact of the African American journey on Charleston, the nation, and the world, shining light and sharing stories of the diverse journeys, origin, and achievements of descendants of the African Diaspora. Across eleven galleries and a memorial garden with art, objects, artifacts, and multi-media interaction, IAAM is a champion of authentic, empathetic storytelling of American history. As a result, the museum will stand as one of the nation’s newest platforms for the disruption of institutionalized racism as it evolves today. The mission of IAAM is to honor the untold stories of the African American journey at the historically sacred site of Gadsden’s Wharf and beyond. For more information, please visit iaamuseum.org or call 843-872-5352.


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