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MAEC Staff Members

Dr. James Early

James Early

Dr. James Early

DIRECTOR
Former Director of Cultural Heritage Policy, Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, Smithsonian Institution

James Counts Early retired from the Smithsonian Institution in March 2015 after thirty-one years of service in a multitude of positions. He served as assistant provost for educational and cultural programs, assistant secretary for education and public service, and interim director of the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum. A long-time advocate for cultural diversity and equity issues in national and international cultural and educational institutions, his applied research explores participatory museology, cultural democracy statecraft policy, capitalist and socialist discourses in cultural policy, and Afro-Latin politics, history, and cultural democracy. He curated several Folklife Festival programs including South Africa: Crafting the Economic Renaissance of the Rainbow Nation (1999) and Sacred Sounds: Belief and Society (1997). James Early holds a B.A. in Spanish from Morehouse College and completed graduate work (A.B.D.) in Latin American and Caribbean history, with a minor in African and African American history, at Howard University.

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