Capitol Words a project of the Sunlight Foundation

  • and

Honoring Cheryl Mcclenney-Brooker At The Occasion Of Her Retirement

Rep. Chaka Fattah

legislator photo

Mr. Speaker, the Philadelphia arts community is losing a highly talented administrator and dedicated advocate with the retirement in February of Cheryl McClenney-Brooker as Director of External Affairs for the Philadelphia Museum of Art after a remarkable 28 years of service.

Ms. McClenney-Brooker, born, raised, and educated in Chicago, has worked in the cultural field and the museum profession for more than 40 years. Her professional involvement with arts and culture began in New York City as Curatorial Coordinator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from 1970 to 1974, then two year stints as Assistant Director of the Museums Collaborative Cultural Voucher Program and Assistant Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. She moved to Washington D.C. to serve for five years as Director of Humanities Projects in Museums and Historical Organizations at the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Then in 1983 Ms. McClenney-Brooker arrived on the scene of Philadelphia, the city of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, to begin this most notable stage of her career at the Philadelphia Museum of Art--and seemingly everywhere in the cultural community. She has shown a special gift for leadership and inspiration in African American and Multicultural arts and culture, both in Philadelphia and as a roving ambassador around the world.

Here's just a sampling: Ms. McClenney-Brooker is a member of the boards of directors of Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania, African American Museum in Philadelphia, Multicultural Affairs Congress of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Philadelphia Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, and The Jonathan Phillip Ford Memorial Foundation for Bipolar Disorder Awareness. She was Co-Founder and, from 1990 to 2005, Chair of the City-wide Philadelphia World AIDS Day/Day Without Art observance. She has served on federal, State and municipal funding panels, corporate and foundation funding committees, and works with several national, State, and local professional and community groups.

Ms. McClenney-Brooker's honors include: a National Scholastic Art Magazine scholarship to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; International Council of Museums' travel grant to Europe; Partners of the Americas' museum travel grant to Brazil; Leadership Pennsylvania Certificate; African American Women of Achievement Award from the African American Museum in Philadelphia; Individual Achievement Award for Arts Administration from the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations; and the Share the Heritage Award from the Multicultural Affairs Congress of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

One thing we know for sure about this tireless and selfless lady: As she transitions to ``official'' retirement with her husband, artist and art professor Moe Brooker, with the love of daughters Misha and Musa Brooker, she will simply have more time and energy to devote to the arts and culture projects that have consumed her life. I ask my colleagues in this House to join me in wishing good health, good times, and a productive ``retirement'' to Cheryl McClenney-Brooker.