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Andrew W. Mellon NMAAHC Curatorial Fellow - 2014

Vanessa M

Vanessa M is a native of the sunny state of Florida. Vanessa completed two Bachelor of Arts degrees at the University of South Florida. She graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications (with a concentration in Telecommunications), and another Bachelor of Arts degree in Africana Studies. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree from Wake Forest University in Documentary Film. Vanessa is now pursuing her doctoral degree in Communications, Culture and Media Studies at Howard University.

As an undergraduate student, Vanessa attended The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars for a semester in Washington, D.C. She interned for Close Up at the Newseum, a youth-centered public affairs television show, which broadcasted on C-SPAN 2. As an intern she conducted research, served as a student reporter, and assisted in the studio during the production of the show. She also interned with Daytime and Star Watch, both NBC affiliated, syndicated television shows.

Vanessa is the director and producer of several short films and documentaries, including A Strand of Pride and Women, Woolworth & Winning Equality. Most notably, she is the co-director and co-producer of the documentary, Ink From My Soul. Vanessa is drawn to documentaries and the filmmaking process because it gives her an opportunity to learn and explore historical events from a fresh perspective.

Vanessa is excited and honored to have this opportunity to work with the National Museum of African American History and Culture as a Mellon curatorial fellow. While serving as a fellow, she hopes to determine what it will take to create and maintain a thorough collection of race films, and to explore and expand her interest in the curatorship of African American history, culture and heritage.