Interview with Monocle’s The Urbanist

One of the many great things about attending CityLab 2016 in Miami was the opportunity to speak with inspiring and talented leaders from across various professional fields. This included conversations with some great journalists, including the one I had with Megan Billings, Deputy Bureau Chief at Monocle. I’m a big fan of Monocle magazine and I enjoyed speaking with Ms. Billings about the work of the Arab American National Museum. The interview was published by Monocle’s The Urbanist podcast (episode 265).

screenshot of The Urbanist podcast, episode 265
The Urbanist podcast, episode 265
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Featured in Hour Detroit Magazine

The Arab American National Museum was featured in the June 2015 edition of Hour Detroit. There’s a nice article on the museum’s tenth anniversary.

Creating Conversations: For 10 years, Dearborn’s Arab American National Museum has been telling the community’s unique stories

“It makes you optimistic about the future for this institution, no matter who is here,” Akmon says. “It’s our goal to continue to contribute and to continue to mold it to that next shape.”

An image of an article in Hour Detroit
AANM featured in Hour Detroit
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Selfies Not Selfies

I was digging through the AANM Flickr photostream and rediscovered a bunch of old photos of me. Having worked behind the camera for a fair amount of time, I’m still not entirely comfortable being in front of the lens. Here’s a quick photo dump of some of the more tolerable images. There’s plenty more that I wish would just disappear.

Devon and Dharma Akmon at the 2014 AANM Gala
2014 AANM Gala
Devon and Dharma Akmon at the 2014 AANM Gala
2014 AANM Gala
Devon Akmon and Chef Sameh Wadi
AANM Cultural Salon with Chef Sameh Wadi
Devon Akmon, Mr. Russell J. Ebeid, and NAB Chair Manal Saab commemorating the Russell J. Ebeid Library & Resource Center at the AANM
Devon Akmon, Mr. Russell J. Ebeid, and NAB Chair Manal Saab commemorating the Russell J. Ebeid Library & Resource Center at the AANM
Suma Rosen, Maha Freij, Manal Saab, and Devon Akmon with Russell J. Ebeid at the naming ceremony for the Russell J. Ebeid Library & Resource Center.
Suma Rosen, Maha Freij, Manal Saab, and Devon Akmon with Russell J. Ebeid at the naming ceremony for the Russell J. Ebeid Library & Resource Center.
Devon Akmon and Ismael Ahmed
2014 AANM Gala
Devon Akmon Speech
Ribbon cutting for the Russell J. Ebeid Library & Resource Center.
Crain's 40 Under 40 – Class of 2013 – Honoree: Devon Akmon
Crain’s 40 Under 40 – Class of 2013 Ceremony
Devon Akmon with Helen Thomas
Dinner with Helen.
Devon Akmon with Ralph Nader
Dinner with Nader.
Devon Akmon Concert of Colors
2014 Concert of Colors
Devon and Dharma Akmon with Chef Sameh Wadi
2014 AANM Gala
Devon Akmon Gala Speech
2014 AANM Gala
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AANM’s Anniversary Featured in Metromode

Thanks to Aaron Mondry and Metromode Media for the coverage of the Arab American National Museum’s upcoming tenth anniversary.

Dearborn, Mich. has the highest concentration of Arab Americans in the United States. The Arab American News, the largest and oldest Arab American newspaper in the country, is published there. The city’s police chief, Ronald Haddad, is Arab American.

Without question, Dearborn is the center of Arab American culture.

It’s no surprise, then, that the preeminent museum dedicated to documenting and preserving the Arab American story is located in Dearborn. The Arab American National Museum (AANM), the only Smithsonian Affiliate in Southeast Michigan, will celebrate its ten year anniversary this May. As part of the milestone, the museum will roll out a year-long series of events and renovations.

Here is a link to the full article.

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Almost Famous

Big ups to Eastern Michigan University for featuring me in the I am TRUEMU alumni campaign. Glad to see those grad school dollars are paying off!

Brand new TRUEMU light-post banners are going up around campus. There will be 100 banners featuring 62 alumni. Each EMU alumni choose an individual power statement and photo showcasing their success and career post graduation. This next phase of the TRUEMU marketing campaign, follows faculty and student campaigns.

 

TRUEMU Banner of Devon Akmon
TRUEMU Banner in Ypsilanti
Devon Akmon's picture on the TRUEMU campaign
TRUEMU
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Detroit Resurgent

Late last year I had the honor of being photographed by the noted French photographer Gilles Perrin for an exhibit called Detroit Resurgent. I am humbled and honored to be included in this exhibit, which is on display at the MSU Museum through January 2014. The exhibition will travel to Detroit and will be hosted at the MSU Detroit Center from May-December 2014. Here’s more on the exhibition:

Detroit Resurgent is an exhibition that runs from September 8, 2013 through January 12, 2014 and a book that will be released by the MSU Press in April 2014. Through photographic portraits, interviews, essays and poetry it demonstrates the vitality and humanity of the people of Detroit and provides a powerful counter-narrative to the vision of Detroit as a Rust Belt wasteland.

Portraits of the Motor City, the centerpiece of Detroit Resurgent, is based upon the MSU Museum’s commission of French photographer Gilles Perrin to make a series of portraits over a three-week period in 2012 and have Nicole Ewenczyk, his wife, record interviews with each subject.

Sixty-two portraits, sixty-four people in photographs and their own words. People from all walks of life, ages, and ethnicities; these are the people whose stories of vision, hope, frustration, joy, courage, and renewal represent the greatness of Detroit past, present, and future. These people are the ones who breathe life into an often-maligned and frequently misunderstood city.

Factory workers, autoworkers to business executives, artists, entrepreneurs, developers, community activists, union organizers, community bankers, social-justice advocates, urban farmers, cultural and political leaders, doctors and community health workers, lawyers, journalists, poets, musicians, educators, religious leaders, and steelworkers: these are the people of Detroit whose expansive humanity is poignantly captured through Gilles Perrin’s sensitive portraits and Nicole Ewenczyk’s insightful interviews. These are the people moving Detroit forward, remaking Detroit for the twenty-first century. These are the people of today’s Motor City.

An image of the Detroit Resurgent exhibit card
Detroit Resurgent
Gilles Perrin Portrait of Devon Akmon
Gilles Perrin Portrait of Devon Akmon
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Featured in Crain’s Detroit Business’ Annual Giving Guide

The Arab American National Museum was featured in the 2013 Giving Guide, published by Crain’s Detroit Business. Here I discuss our goal of building the endowment to $10 million by 2017. Exit strategy: More nonprofits, donors turn to endowments for lasting impact

“Through the recession, we learned arts and culture was not the No. 1 priority for certain foundations and corporations,” said Devon Akmon, director of the Arab American National Museum. Endowment “is a way of building a more sustainable future. … It’s a bank of money we know will be there … unrestricted funds which provide a certain level of freedom and, in many ways, it’s guaranteed.”

An image from Crain's Detroit Business
Building The Endowment
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Featured on WDET: A Local Museum Earns National Props

“We realize that if people want to be receptive to our story, we have to be receptive to other stories.”
Devon Akmon, Director of the Arab American National Museum.

One of Metro Detroit’s newest cultural institutions has earned national credibility. The Arab American National Museum in Dearborn has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, an honor most museums don’t have. Museum director Devon Akmon tells me it’s the gold standard for institutions of its kind.

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