Billingsley got the idea for The Museum for Black Girls when she was thinking of ways she could set up a gallery to show her artwork. But she didn't want it to be a typical gallery where people just "come look at the pictures."
"I wanted it to be an interactive space. I just wanted to make something bigger than myself," she says.
“'Grandma’s Kitchen' is one of my favorites,” continues Billingsley, “It’s a replica of my own grandmother’s kitchen…a lot of us used to get our hair done growing up in the kitchen.”
The ‘Grandma’s Kitchen’ installation is a good representation of what the museum is: part celebration, part education.
“I want people to know that there’s more to Black people than just the stories of racial injustices—which are important—but we have celebrations, too," she said. "We are happy people.”
Billingsley explains that another exhibit, called The Melanated Tree, "represents all different shades of brown that we are. We have so many different shades of brown that represent Black women."
Billingsley encourages anyone and everyone to visit the museum.
“Everyone is welcome in this space… it’s a space for everyone to come uplift and encourage and also get educated," she says. "I just want Black women, and anyone else who comes here, to know how much we’re important and impactful and influential, and how loved we actually are.”
The Museum for Black Girls is located at 1421 26th Street in Denver.
It’s currently open through April with the following hours:
- Tues - Fri: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.
- Saturday: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
- Sunday: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for kids and you can reserve them online at themuseumforblackgirls.com.