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Dorothy B is a recent graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington’s Dual Masters Program in Ethnomusicology and Library Science, where her research has focused on the practice, preservation, and exhibition of African American performance culture. She has worked to combine her diverse academic training in her historical research on the commodification of Black authenticity in early 20th century African American musical theater. These studies are the continuation of her earlier training in classical and experimental voice at Mills College in Oakland, California, where she studied improvisation with avant-garde jazz legend, Roscoe Mitchell. She has worked at the Archives of African American Music and Culture, the Mathers Museum of World Cultures, the Black Film Center/Archive and at the Ozarks Afro-American Heritage Museum, where she spearheaded a program to transition the museum’s collection from a small town storefront to an interactive digital environment. In May of 2014, she opened her first solo curated exhibit, Still: Adele Stephenson and the Art of Film, at the Black Film Center/Archive on the Indiana University campus. Berry writes about African American representation in popular culture on her blog, Historical Hood Pass. Dorothy looks forward to the Mellon NMAAHC internship opportunity to further enhance her understanding of the art and practice of conservation of African American history and culture.
Leah grew up in a small town outside of Pittsburgh, PA with her parents, brother and sister. In 2010, she moved to Ohio to matriculate at The College of Wooster. Leah will graduate this May with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. Though chemistry is her chosen major, Leah also has a deep interest in anthropology and cultural heritage preservation. Her senior thesis entitled “The Photochemical Degradation of the Carmine Dye Molecule in Artist Media,” combined Leah’s seemingly contrasting academic disciplines, sparking a desire to use chemistry to contribute to art conservation efforts. Leah plans to pursue a PhD in chemistry after filing her “gap year” with this exciting Smithsonian internship, followed by teaching English in an ESL program.