Chance the Rapper is one of the newest board members at the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago’s Washington Park. His appointment is part of a larger board makeover that includes six to eight new members. Another is Dr. Eric Whitaker, a close friend of President Barack Obama. Chance’s assistant confirmed his appointment; Whitaker’s wife, Dr. Cheryl Whitaker, confirmed his.
DuSable Museum, one of the city’s 11 Museums in the Park, was founded in 1961 by Margaret Burroughs, an artist and poet, and other prominent Chicagoans. Perri Irmer, a Chicago attorney and architect, was named CEO in 2015. Irmer plans to boost the museum’s presence in anticipation of the Obama Presidential Center, projected to open in 2021 in nearby Jackson Park.
The Midway Plaisance connects Jackson Park to Washington Park, which is to the northwest. Washington Park was also considered as a site for Obama’s presidential library.
Plans for DuSable include an app-based mobile museum for students, funded in part by the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation. In 2015, DuSable had about 100,000 visitors, according to Museums in the Park data. Its operating budget is about $4.1 million, according to its 2014 tax form posted on GuideStar, a nonprofit information website.
Chance and Whitaker add star power to DuSable’s board. Current high-profile trustees include artist Theaster Gates, who in 2015 proposed that the University of Chicago take over programming for the museum; former Illinois Sen. Emil Jones Jr.; and the Rev. Byron Brazier of the Apostolic Church of God in Woodlawn, according to the museum’s website, which lists 14 trustees.
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