Every year, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History sets a theme for Black History Month in February.
This year, the focus is on African Americans and the Arts.
"African American art is infused with African, Caribbean, and the Black American lived experiences," the association writes. "In the fields of visual and performing arts, literature, fashion, folklore, language, film, music, architecture, culinary and other forms of cultural expression, the African American influence has been paramount."
Services and institutions of the U.S. government will hold special exhibits and events to commemorate the theme.
At the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History & Culture, a new cultural exhibition will showcase African American and African diaspora culture. The National Gallery of Art will pair works from well-known Black artists with those who are relatively undiscovered. And national parks across the U.S. will share stories from more than 400 years of Black history.
ASALH will hold arts-focused events throughout the month, starting with a panel on Black sci-fi and anime on Feb. 1 and a street art program on Feb. 8. The association's annual Black History Month Luncheon and book signing will take place on Feb. 24 in Washington, D.C.
Scripps News will put a spotlight of its own on Black art and artists throughout the month. On Feb. 8, Lauren Magarino will hold a candid conversation with Megan Piphus, the first Black female puppeteer in "Sesame Street"'s history.
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