Archives and Special Collections
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Collection Overview
Name of Creator:Chandler Jr., Dana C. 1941-.
Title:Dana C. Chandler, Jr. papers
Date:1973-1991 (bulk 1977-1979)
Reference Code:M156
Location Code:72/4
Extent:.50 cubic feet (1 manuscript box, 1 half-manuscript box)
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.

Biographical Note:

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 activism.

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.

Language and Scripts:The materials are in English.
System of Arrangement:The materials are arranged alphabetically by subject.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Chandler Jr., Dana
  • Duro, Akin

  • Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (Boston, Mass.)

  • African American art -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • African American artists -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • African American political activists
  • Artists as teachers
  • Artists -- Massachusetts -- Boston
  • Artists -- Political and social views
  • Outsider artists

Conditions Governing Access:The collection in unrestricted.
Immediate Source of Acquisition:The collection was transferred from the African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use:Copyright restrictions may apply.
Finding Aids: African American Master Artists-in-Residence Program collection (A80). Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity collection (M101). Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists records (M44). Antionette Frederick papers (M40).
Related Archival Materials:

Materials relating to Mr. Chandler's professorship at Simmons College can be found at the Simmons College Archives. For more information, go to http://my.simmons.edu/library/collections/college_archives.

Processor:Finding aid prepared by Cynthia Rufo, January 26, 2009