Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture to host Our Stories: Black Families in Spokane

Image Credit: Wally Hagin, Playing Cards, 1955, Joel E. Ferris Research Archives at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture/Eastern Washington State Historical Society (L97-56.176).

Spokane, WA, June 11, 2024 Our Stories: Black Families in Spokane will be a celebration of community and history at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (the MAC) on June 28, 2024, 11am-4pm. As part of its year-long, 50th Anniversary celebration, Innovia Foundation is proud to announce a partnership with the MAC to provide free entry for all to the event. 

The first in the Our Stories series at the MAC, the event will provide a full day of immersive activities celebrating the stories that have shaped Spokane’s Black community and heritage. Free and open to all, programming incorporates a fun and memorable line-up of activities, inviting participants of all ages to engage with Spokane’s rich history from the perspective of members of the Black community. Activities include Motown music outside on the museum lawn, documentaries and youth-created films in the auditorium, and a drop-in art workshop for the whole family. 

Highlights of the June 28 event include:  

  • Living descendants of Spokane Black pioneers and dignitaries sharing memories and memorabilia from their families, African American-owned businesses and organizations   
  • Documentaries on Black persons from Spokane’s past and new content produced by New Developed Nations (NDN) and youth representatives of NDN, the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center, Carl Maxey Center, and NAACP  
  • All-day art making for all ages in the MAC’s Create Space  
  • Food trucks and a DJ 

This event results from a series of meetings beginning in the Fall of 2023 between the MAC, community member Julie Williamson Serquinia, and Marsha Rooney (former Senior Curator of History at the museum), regarding ways to make the MAC and its programming more relevant and welcoming to all Spokane audiences. 

“We are a community. We support each other,” says Williamson Serquinia who brought this idea to the MAC. “We want to share our history that shows our contributions to our community and Spokane as a whole.” 

As the community foundation for Eastern Washington and North Idaho, Innovia actively seeks opportunities to enrich communities by promoting vibrant and accessible cultural experiences for all. 

“We are driven by the stories of our communities, past, present and future,” says Shelly O’Quinn, CEO of Innovia Foundation. “We are honored to invest in this important event celebrating the impact of some of Spokane’s greatest leaders, pioneers and icons.” 

Innovia’s investment in this event is part of a series of events and activities Innovia is gifting to communities across Eastern Washington and North Idaho in celebration of the Foundation’s 50th Anniversary in 2024. More information about these events can be found at  

About the The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture 

The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture is the living center of art, culture, and history in the Inland Northwest, dedicated to inspiring expression, forging diverse community relationships, and uncovering history’s relevance. The MAC’s permanent collection includes Plateau tribal art and artifacts, significant works by regional artists, and extensive archives representing the area’s past and present. The MAC also hosts traveling national and international exhibitions, connecting the people of the Inland Northwest to the world through shared experience. Founded in 1916, the MAC is the museum of the Eastern Washington State Historical Society and is a proud Smithsonian Affiliate.

About Innovia Foundation

As the community foundation for Eastern Washington and North Idaho, we partner with people who want to improve their communities and make the world better. We work together to identify and respond to our region’s greatest opportunities, help those in need, and leave a lasting impact. Our mission is to ignite generosity that transforms lives and communities. We envision vibrant and sustainable communities where every person has the opportunity to thrive. Each year, Innovia Foundation invests $10 million into our communities through grants and scholarships.

Celebrating Community in 2024

Together with media partner NonStop Local KHQ, Innovia is Celebrating Community, a year-long, region-wide celebration of the volunteers, citizens and organizations that have faithfully served the needs of communities for 50 years in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Each month, Innovia will gift the region with free, inclusive, family-friendly activities and experiences to commemorate the Foundation’s past, present and future of bringing people together to transform lives and communities. Event details will be released at the beginning of each month throughout 2024.

50th Anniversary Calendar of Events

In addition to Innovia-sponsored community events, the Foundation has launched an online calendar where individuals and organizations can submit information about celebrations and activities in their community. The calendar is open to any events within the Foundation’s region that are free or low-cost, family-friendly and have a broad community appeal. Calendar entries can be submitted at

Photo Drawing

Community members who attend Innovia-sponsored community events this year are invited to submit their photos from the event for a chance to win a photo drawing. Winners will be selected in March, June, September and December to receive a $250 grant to a nonprofit of their choice. Entries can be submitted by posting photos on Instagram with the hashtag #innoviacelebratescommunity or by submitting through an online form. Full drawing details and rules, including the online submission form, can be found at

More information about Innovia Foundation’s 50th Anniversary, 2024 celebrations and history can be found at

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