|Scope and Content Note:
The Dana C. Chandler Jr. papers document his work as an artist
and activist and his service on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan
Council for Educational Opportunity. The majority of the collection
is comprised of METCO materials from Chandler's decade of service
on the METCO Board of Directors. The METCO files include reports
on education in Massachusetts, memoranda, minutes, agendas, correspondence
between Chandler or METCO staff, and officers from area school districts,
parents, and officials from local government. The files also include
proposals, reports, handbooks, press, and subject files regarding
two Boston-area school districts and the Tri Arts Project,
a program promoting the appreciation of multi-ethnic art in
public schools. The Recruitment Assistance file documents the mostly
METCO-funded hiring of new staff in schools with METCO students.
All of the materials pertaining to art created by Chandler from
1974 to 1993 in his African American Master Artists-in-Residence
Program studio can be found in the AAMARP
collection. All correspondence, teaching materials, memoranda,
and administrative records generated by Chandler during his tenure
as director of AAMARP can also be found in the AAMARP collection.
Dana C. Chandler, Jr., noted African American artist, activist,
and educator, was born in Lynn, Mass. in 1941. He was educated in
Boston Public Schools, and earned a B.S. in Teacher Education from
the Massachusetts College of Art.
Chandler participated in the black integrationist movement since
his high school years. Chandler joined the black nationalist movement
in the 1960s, after witnessing police brutality against a group
of peaceful welfare protestors. Chandler has used his art to educate
his audience about the history and social conditions of black Americans.
His large-scale, boldly-colored paintings and collages
depict racial injustice and criticize the commodification of civil
rights icons. In recent years, Chandler has lectured about art and
In 1970, Chandler was named Boston National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People's Man of the Year. His art was featured
in several national magazines including Encore, Time,
Newsweek, and Jet.
Chandler was a professor at Simmons College from 1971-2004,
where he taught drawing and painting. Frustrated by the lack of
quality resources for teaching about black art, Chandler created
his own Afrocentric curriculum.
In 1973, Chandler's South End studio was ransacked and vandalized.
He set up a new studio space in a vacant warehouse building owned
by Northeastern University. With the support of future university
president Kenneth Ryder, Chandler founded the African American Master
Artists-in-Residence Program (AAMARP) in 1974. The program's
debut exhibition was held at City Hall, and featured work by Chandler
and 12 other artists. Chandler directed AAMARP until 1993, when
he resigned after a series of budget cuts. While directing the program,
Chandler taught classes at both Simmons College and Northeastern
University, lectured at other institutions around the country, and
exhibited his work internationally. Chandler has also exhibited
under the name Akin Duro.
Chandler served as President of the Board of the Metropolitan Council
for Educational Opportunity (METCO) from 1977 to 1986. He was involved
with METCO from 1974 to1986 as President, Executive Committee member,
and METCO parent.
In 2009, Chandler is lecturing and blogging about art, race, and
culture under the name Akin Duro.