Monday, November 4, 2013

Reginald F. Lewis Museum Hosts 2013 Gala, Celebrates “Legacy of Leadership”

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Mrs. Pam Sanders; Dr. A. Skipp Sanders, executive director, Reginald F. Lewis Museum; Andrew Bertamini,
Maryland regional president, Wells Fargo and wife; Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, gala honorary co-chair 

BALTIMORE, MD – The Reginald F. Lewis Museum, the nation’s largest African American museum on the east coast, held its 2013 gala themed “Celebrating the Legacy of Leadership” on Saturday, November 2nd at Martin’s West.  Just over 500 guests attended the event including philanthropists, corporate executives and nonprofit leaders, which supported the institution’s exhibitions and public and educational programs.

This year’s honorees were the founding board members, the trailblazers who saw the vision for the museum, named after the first African American to build a billion dollar company. The honorees received a replica of the first ever artifact given to the museum – a metal tube containing documentation of freedom papers from Isaac Dorsey, a former slave.

The gala featured a reception, silent auction, dinner, a program hosted by renowned author Wes Moore and dancing.  A highlight from the program included acknowledgments of the Lewis family in attendance – Lewis’s mother Carolyn Fugett and daughter Christina Lewis Halpern, who have been instrumental in “carrying the mantle forward” for the museum.

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Carolyn Fugett and Christina Lewis Halpern

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Philanthropists Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown

The gala was held on a momentous day for the museum, as it was also the opening day of the Kinsey Collection: Shared Treasures of Bernard & Shirley Kinsey, a world-class collection of art and artifacts chronicling over 400 years of African American history and culture. Named one of the “Top Ten exhibits to see in the world,” Bernard Kinsey shared during the program that his goal is for people to leave the exhibit saying, “I didn’t know that.” He shared one example of black history that many guests did not know, the story of George Franklin Grant who was the first African American to graduate from Harvard Dental School in 1870 and subsequently served as the university’s first African American professor. Kinsey also strongly encouraged guests to become members of the museum. The Kinsey Collection is on display until March 2, 2014.

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Bernard and Shirley Kinsey

Honorary co-chairs were Dr. Nancy S. Grasmick, the former Maryland State Superintendent and currently Director of Kennedy Krieger's Center for Innovation and Leadership in Special Education; and Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles Gold Glove Center Fielder.  Gold Sponsors for the gala were The Baltimore Orioles, The Reginald F. Lewis Foundation and Whiting Turner; Wells Fargo served as the Silver Sponsor; and Sustaining Sponsors were American Express,  Brown Capital Management and Johns Hopkins.

About the Reginald F. Lewis Museum
The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture is Baltimore's premier facility highlighting the history and accomplishments of African Americans with a special focus on Maryland's African American community. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum is the East Coast's largest African American museum occupying an 82,000 square-foot facility with ample permanent and special exhibition space, interactive learning environments, auditorium, resource center, oral history recording studio, museum shop, café, classrooms, meeting rooms, outside terrace and reception areas. For more information and upcoming activities for the Kinsey Collection, visit

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