Kent State University Museum To Receive $35,000 Grant from National Endowment for the Arts

Kent, OH – National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $84 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2020.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works award of $35,000 to the Kent State University Museum (KSU Museum) for the upcoming TEXTURES: the history and art of Black hair exhibition, set to open on Sept. 10, 2021. This is one of 1015 grants nationwide that the agency has approved in this category. 

“These awards demonstrate the resilience of the arts in America, showcasing not only the creativity of their arts projects but the organizations’ agility in the face of a national health crisis,” said Mary Anne Carter, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “We celebrate organizations like the Kent State University Museum for providing opportunities for learning and engagement through the arts in these times.” 

Curated by Kent State faculty members Dr. Tameka N. Ellington and Dr. Joseph L. Underwood, TEXTURES will now open on Sept. 10, 2021 and remain on display through Aug. 14, 2022. Originally slated to open this fall, TEXTURES was postponed to 2021 due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  

This timely exhibition brings together the artwork of contemporary artists and historic artifacts, including advertising and hair products, to focus on African American and African Diaspora peoples throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Centered in the disciplines of art history, fashion, and social sciences, the 200 objects are organized around the themes of Community and Memory, Hair Politics, and Black Joy. Among the 50 contemporary artists in the exhibition are April Bey, Sonya Clark, Andrew Esiebo, Zanele Muholi, Devan Shimoyama, Mary Sibande, Lorna Simpson, Ibrahima Thiam, Glenford Nunez, James Van Der Zee and Kehinde Wiley.  Artifacts and products are borrowed from the Fowler Museum at UCLA, the archives of Madame CJ Walker at the Indiana Historical Society, and the private collection of Dr. Willie Morrow, inventor, barber and historian. 

TEXTURES is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the generosity of sponsors Proctor and Gamble, Bank of America, and L’Oreal Paris.

The accompanying 200-page catalogue is being published by Hirmer Verlag and will be available this fall.  A virtual launch party will be planned for early October.

About the Kent State University Museum

The Kent State University Museum is located at 515 Hilltop Drive, at the corner of East Main Street and South Lincoln Street in Kent, Ohio. It features more than 28,000 pieces in its collection, amassed from many generous donors. 

This Fall, the museum is open to the public on Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday from noon-4 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and $4 for children ages 5 to 17. The museum is free for children age 5 and under and for those with a Kent State ID. Sunday admission is free for all ages. Parking is free for all museum attendees. Patrons should use the allotted museum spaces in the Rockwell Hall parking lot. For more information, please call 330-672-3450 or visit

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit


Media Contacts:

Brittani Peterson,, 330-672-2714
Joni Koneval,, 330-672-0116
Emily Vincent,, 330-672-8595

UPDATED: Saturday, December 03, 2022 01:02 AM