Executive Director and Chief Curator, Gia M. Hamilton, to Lead New Orleans African American Museum of Art, History and Culture (NOAAM) in Historic Treme, New Orleans

The New Orleans African American Museum of Art, History and Culture (NOAAM) is delighted to announce the appointment of New Orleans Native and Treme resident, Gia M. Hamilton, as the beloved institution’s interim Executive Director and Chief Curator. Anthropologist, cultural steward, and NOLA native Gia Hamilton is known for her transformative work as former Center Director at the Joan Mitchell Center (artist residency program of the Joan Mitchell Foundation), the WELCOME TO THE AFROFUTURE experience at Miami Art Basel 2018, ​Modern Matriarch Tour​, and her book ​Meditations For Radical Families​.

Hamilton, ​recently featured in Cultured Magazine​, is looking forward to supporting NOAAM with preserving and celebrating the artistic and scholarly contributions of African Americans in New Orleans/from New Orleans globally.

"It is with great pleasure that we welcome Gia Hamilton as our interim Executive Director. We are so excited to have a person of her talent and expertise to join the New Orleans African American Museum family. We are truly on the path to forging a new and great future for the organization. Gia Hamilton makes that possible." ​- Michael G. Griffin, NOAAM Board President and duel President and CEO of Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans (DCSNO) and President and CEO of Marillac Community Health Centers—Griffin

"I have known Gia Hamilton for almost ten years and of her ability to take on challenging projects with integrity, community focus and excellence. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation is excited about her appointment as Executive Director

&Chief Curator to the New Orleans African American Museum in Treme. As a neighbor, we look forward to partnering and supporting her leadership at the Museum.​" - Don Marshall, Executive Director, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation

“Reopening this critical space in Treme is a labor of love, a purpose project, and part of legacy work that will require community, funding, and support from those who care about Black people, our contributions, and our narrative. I am no savior, but I was raised to be a woman of my word. I promise to work with integrity and transparency as we bring beautiful, thought provoking work and amazing creatives to this space. Here is to passion work! Here is to equity work! Here is lifting the voices and showing the work of those who deserve the spotlight and platform! Ase!” ​– Gia M. Hamilton

The NOAMM reopening will take place in early April (date to be announced), featuring the exhibition “​Everywhere We Are || Everywhere We Go” ​– a historical chronology of people of African descent in Treme and the contributions of Black New Orleanians in this most important neighborhood in New Orleans; Paper Monuments which opens in May “​Claiming Space” featuring the 40 posters from the past three years of work with the City of New Orleans as well as 10 commissioned ephemeral public art pieces by local artists, and ​“Welcome to the Afrofuture: Ground Zero” ​which will make its way back from Miami to New Orleans and expand with work from artists like Ceaux, Courtney Buckley, Soraya Jean Louis, Kristina Kay Robinson and more performers, mixed media artists and other creatives.

More information is coming soon, but until then supporters can follow ​NOAMM ​on Instagram: @noaamtreme. You may email ghamilton@noaam.org for volunteer opportunities, and you may donate or rent space by emailing ​info@noaam.org​, as well as for specific partnership, funding, or collaborative ventures.


The New Orleans African American Museum of Art, History and Culture (NOAAM) was founded in 1996 under the guidance and extensive support of the City of New Orleans Department of Housing and Neighborhood Development. NOAAM is located in the Tremé section of New Orleans, a neighborhood that was once home to the nation’s largest, most prosperous and politically progressive community of blacks by the mid-1850s. ​NOAAM seeks to educate and to preserve, interpret, and promote the contributions that people of African descent have made to the development of New Orleans and Louisiana culture, as slaves and as free people of color throughout the history of American slavery as well as during emancipation, Reconstruction, and contemporary times. ​The museum at 1418 Gov. Nicholls St. has been closed since 2013, and will reopen in 2019.


Gia M. Hamilton is known for her visionary ability to identify and cultivate support systems. she has worked as a thought leader and change agent with organizations using resource economy assets to multi-million dollar budgets. Hamilton brings two decades of experience to the philanthropic and innovation sector as a scholar, curator, social entrepreneur and now senior executive. Gia is an applied anthropologist who employs Social Magic​TM ​methodology to investigate land, labor and cultural production while examining social connectivity within institutions and community.

As a model builder, Hamilton co-founded an independent African centered school, Little Maroons in 2006; later, she opened a creative incubator space- Gris Gris Lab in 2009; supported the transition at Junebug Productions in 2011 as Consulting Managing Director and led the Joan Mitchell Center artist residency program in New Orleans for over six years.

As former Center Director at the Joan Mitchell Center, Hamilton led the development of the two acre campus capital project and designed the program as a place based, community centered laboratory for visual artists, curators and the creative community with the belief that imagination and creativity are paramount to creating a more equitable and socially just society.

Hamilton received her bachelors in cultural anthropology from New York University and masters in applied anthropology from City University of New York’s Graduate Center. She is on the board of Tulane University Newcomb Museum, Alliance for Artist Communities and New Orleans Video Access Center, and the national advisory council of Museum Hue.

Modern Matriarch​, Gia’s soon-to-be-released ethnographic memoir (Fall 2019), was inspired by Hamilton’s synonymously named ​walking tour in the 7th Ward​, a can’t-be-missed experience that has received accolades from the Ford Foundation, Studio Museum of Harlem trustees, and various local groups who appreciate how Hamilton’s place-based storytelling brings local histories to life.

For over fifteen years, Hamilton has been immersed in the City of New Orleans as an intersectional thought leader. With ​Modern Matriarch​, Gia shares personal stories and relevant histories that challenge us to rethink the term ​single.black.mother​. Through the ​Modern Matriarch ​book and tour, Hamilton invokes the histories of matriarchs to provide a visual picture of what a “woman-positive life” can look like using her own experience as a survivor of domestic violence, interwoven with compelling cultural analyses and narratives.

With a literary agent in place and impending publishing agreement, Hamilton is poised to relaunch the newly revamped ​Modern Matriarch ​walking tour in time for her book release party (details to be announced). Participants can look forward to a food justice component that highlights the legacies of local urban farmers of color. Hamilton is also in the process of putting together a speaking tour, which will be a platform for nuanced discussions about the themes in Modern Matriarch and the role of place-based experiences in transforming communities. Gia currently lives in New Orleans with her four sons. Her current innovation, outcomes, musings, and practice can be explored by visiting www.giahamiltonstudio.com​.


Media Contact:
Gia M. Hamilton, Executive Director and Chief Curator
1417-1418 Gov. Nichols
New Orleans, LA 70116