California African American Museum to Remain Closed Until October Due to Tropical Storm Damage

The California African American Museum in Los Angeles said on Thursday that it could not reopen for the time being due to heavy rains that struck the city earlier this month.

“As we survey and repair the damage to our building, we now know we must remain closed at least through October,” the museum wrote in a statement. “Public programs slated to happen at CAAM in September and October are postponed.”

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No other major Los Angeles museums have been quite as severely impacted by Tropical Storm Hilary, which hit California on August 21. By some estimates, it was the first time that a tropical storm had made landfall in the region since 1939.

Although the storm’s damage was expected to much more severe—it was called a hurricane at first, and then was downgraded—it still brought around 5 inches of rain to some coastal areas and more than double that to ones in the mountains. There were no fatalities in California as a result of the storm.

A spokesperson for CAAM told the Los Angeles Times that “water intrusion occurred in some areas of our building.”

For much of the past year, the museum hasn’t been fully open to the public. It begin shuttering its galleries in August to make way for a maintenance project that included a new HVAC system and a weatherproofed glass ceilings. CAAM only just reopened in its entirety this month. It is still expected to unveil a new library and conference center.

Among the exhibitions that remain closed is “A Movement in Every Direction: Legacies of the Great Migration,” which opened at CAAM this month following acclaimed runs in Jackson, Baltimore, and Brooklyn. An exhibition of former artist fellows at the Sacatar Institute in Bahia, Brazil, will still open at Art + Practice in mid-September.


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