About US

2023 Board of Directors

Carolyn Farrar, President
Dr. Sheila Caldwell, Vice President
Brady Odom, Recording Secretary
Aaron Pearl-Cropp, Treasurer
Nell Clay
Robert Davis
Dawn DeFraties
Kathryn Harris
Tom Hutchinson
Dr. Ann Joseph
Jim Lewis
Lazell Logan
Gail Simpson
Lamar Walls
James Lewis, Board Member Emeritus

AAHM Staff

Nalo Mitchell,
Executive Director

Executive Director,
Nalo Mitchell

Ms. Nalo MitchellThe Board of Directors of the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum (AAHM) is pleased to announce that Nalo Mitchell has accepted the position of Executive Director of the museum as of April 1, 2023. The position was created with funds from the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Current President,
Carolyn Farrar

Carolyn Farrar

Congratulations to Carolyn Farrar, Springfield and Central IL African American History Museum's new President. Carolyn graduated from Middlebury College, in Vermont and from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, earning an M.Ed in elementary education.
Carolyn is a member of Union Baptist Church and a lifetime charter member of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Carolyn and her husband, Curtis, have been strong supporters of the African American History museum since its establishment in 2012. She volunteered at the museum before becoming a board member in 2018.

We look forward to your continued support of the AAHM as you join us in welcoming our new Board President.

-- E.G.Alexander

Executive Assistant,
Angel Ware


The AAHM Board of Directors and Executive Director Nalo Mitchell are excited to welcome our new Executive Assistant Angel Ware.

Angel is an intelligent, talented and dynamic professional She is also an artist and we look forward to featuring some of her artwork in the Springfield and Central Illinois African American History Museum.

Congratulations Angel!

Museum Liaison
Tara Ryan - Walker


We are excited to welcome our Museum Liaison Tara Ryan-Walker! Tara is a talented, creative and intelligent individual who graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in French
Tara is an amazing team-player who works in a spirit of excellence. The Board of Directors and Director Mitchell are excited to have her here at The Springfield And Central Illinois African American History Museum

Past President,
Nell Clay

Nell R. Clay

We want to express our deep appreciation to Nell Clay for serving the museum and the community for the last few years as President of the Springfield and Central IL African American History Museum. Nell has invested a large part of her life into this museum with zeal, energy, and love. There was almost a feeling of "if Nell can't do it, nobody can." Every nook and cranny of the business, exhibits, programs and finances received Nell's attention and expertise. Thank you, Nell, thank you. We are thankful also that although you are stepping down from that position you are still deeply involved in the museum.

--E. G. Alexander