Collective Memory: Storytelling and Collaboration in the Writing of History

What role does memory play in recording and reflecting upon history? How can recording practices illuminate shifts around our expectation of truth, help to dismantle accepted and exclusionary histories, and serve as public advocacy? Join Cooper Hewitt as we explore these questions in light of the exhibition Willi Smith: Street Couture, for which recollection and storytelling were integral to the shaping of the exhibition.

The conversation will be moderated by Eric Darnell Pritchard, author and Associate Professor of English at the University at Buffalo, with panelists including Steven G. Fullwood, Archivist and Co-founder of the Nomadic Archivists Project, Uzodinma Iweala, author and CEO of the Africa Center, and Kelly Elaine Navies, Museum Specialist in Oral History for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

This free program will feature a moderated panel discussion followed by an audience Q+A hosted through Zoom. A link will be emailed to you upon registration.

CART captioning will be provided. Please reach out to us with any information on how we can support your participation, and with requests for services by emailing


Willi Smith: Street Couture is made possible by principal support from Target. Major support is provided by Gucci. Additional support is provided by the Ehrenkranz Fund and Edward and Helen Hintz. Funding is also provided by the Coby Foundation, Ltd., the Esme Usdan Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Keith Haring Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and the Cooper Hewitt Master's Program Fund. In-kind support is provided by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Cargo, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.