CFAC Executive Director Elected to Association of African American Museums
Kheli Willetts among prominent group of scholars named to AAAM Board of Directors
Kheli Willetts ’92, G’94, G’02, executive director of the Community Folk Art Center (CFAC) and professor of practice of African American Studies (AAS) in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences, is one of three scholars elected to the Association of African American Museum (AAAM)’s Board of Directors. A longtime Syracuse faculty member and administrator, she will serve a three-year term on the AAAM board.
“This organization and its members represent the country’s most passionate advocates of preserving African American history, art, and research,” says Willetts. “It’s an honor to be elected, and I’m proud to serve. I’m eager to work with my fellow board members to support and enhance African American museums and museum professionals.”
Launched in 1978, AAAM supports African- and African American-focused museums nationally and internationally, as well as the professionals who protect, preserve, and interpret African and African American art, history, and culture. Its membership includes 300 Black museums and hundreds of museum professionals employed in various museums across the country.
“As the driving force behind CFAC, Kheli is well-suited for this opportunity,” says Kishi Animashaun Ducre, associate professor and chair of AAS. “Her engagement with the community, ability to attract top-tier shows and artists, and passion for highlighting the contributions of artists from all backgrounds is nothing short of amazing. I know I speak for all my AAS colleagues when I say how proud we are of her appointment.”
CFAC is a multidisciplinary art center and community service-based unit of the College’s AAS department. As CFAC’s executive director, Willetts is responsible for institutional operations and programming. She is also vice president of the New York Consortium of Museums and Art Centers Board of Directors and serves on the board of Syracuse’s Arts and Cultural Leaders Alliance. She is a grants panelist for The New York Council on the Arts, Institution of Museum and Library Services, and Cuyahoga Arts Council in Cleveland (Ohio).
Willetts earned a Ph.D. in teaching and curriculum and a master’s degree in museum studies from Syracuse University.