PHILADELPHIA,PA. JANUARY 18, 2022 - Historic Germantown is starting off 2022 by welcoming a new member to its team. Monica O. Montgomery has been named the new Director of Community Engagement & Programs. She comes aboard during a pivotal time in the organization's growth, as the work of public history, heritage, and outreach education shifts to tell fuller stories and holistically serve audiences.
Her new role will be working within and across our 18 member historic consortium sites to learn from and engage diverse residents and stakeholders of Northwest Philadelphia, and inspire audiences worldwide around the rich, dynamic history of Germantown then and now. Montgomery will be working cross disciplinarily on program management, curating exhibits, oral histories and storytelling, capacity building and community outreach.
Over the past year, Montgomery has consulted with Historic Germantown in our consortium’s Black Lives Matter initiatives and in helping sites activate green spaces and gardens for community benefit.
"We are delighted to welcome Monica O. Montgomery as Historic Germantown’s first Director of Community Engagement and Programs. Monica brings a wealth of experience to the position and will be integral in supporting our 18 member organizations in developing collaborative program and education initiatives and in creating stronger relationships with all of those who live, work in or visit our area," Tuomi Joshua Forrest, Executive Director, said in a statement.
Montgomery previously served as Curator of Social Justice and Programming at Smithsonian Arts and Industries building for the newly opened FUTURES exhibit celebrating the Smithsonian’s 175th Anniversary. She is known for working in museums and community engagement over the last decade through a lens of welcoming and belonging, across NYC, NJ, Philly, DC and nationally.
She has independently curated 40+ social justice, contemporary art and public history exhibits, experiences and festivals, with renowned organizations such as South African Embassy, Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn Museum, Portland Art Museum, Teachers College, Urban Art Gallery and more. She is dedicated to advancing the visibility and viability of people of color in museums, building pipelines for representation, DEI and museum remedy.
She is a sought after presenter and teacher of graduate courses at many universities including: PAFA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Whitney Museum, Harvard University, American University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, Rutgers University, University of the Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Pratt Institute and NYU. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Broadcast Communication from Temple University and Masters of Arts in Corporate Communication from LaSalle University.
"I am ecstatic that my journey has brought me returning back to Germantown Philadelphia, the neighborhood that welcomed me after graduating college and shaped my nonprofit career. In my new role as Director of Community Engagement and Programs for Historic Germantown, equity, creativity and agency will be the hallmark of my tenure. I am eager to be in dialogue with all those that call NW Philly home, locals who live, work and play here, and desire an active voice in shaping the highest and best outcomes for the surrounding community. As a social justice curator and museum thought leader working nationally at the nexus of equity, community and inclusion, it is an exciting time to be coming home to Philadelphia and embedding my work hyper-locally, for community uplift and benefit."
- Monica O. Montgomery