Timothy Anne Burnside is a cultural historian and museum professional whose work explores the intersections between history, music, culture, and activism through the lenses of music & performing arts. She has been with the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) since 2009, where she collects artifacts and develops exhibitions and programs that offer complex representations of history and cultural expression. She worked on multiple NMAAHC inaugural exhibitions, including Musical Crossroads, Sports: Leveling the Playing Field, Taking the Stage, Cultural Expressions, and Power of Place. In addition to curatorial exhibition development, her background includes historical research, archival work, collections management, exhibition installation, and program production. Her unique museum perspective fuels her exploration of the changing role of museums, and how they can be spaces that engage with communities to work toward equity and inclusion.
Timothy began her career with the Smithsonian at the National Museum of American History (NMAH) in 2003 where she worked in the Archives Center and Division of Cultural History. She was project assistant and a producer of NMAH's Jazz Appreciation Month (2004-2005), then launched the Smithsonian's first hip-hop collecting initiative in 2006. Additional exhibitions for NMAAHC include
Timothy regularly presents at academic conferences across the country and speaks with college and graduate students about opportunities in the museum field. She received her B.A. from Lawrence University, and M.A. in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
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