At 35, Jenney Fazande is first black female director of exhibits at the largest WWII Museum

Theodora Aidoo Feb 27, 2020 at 01:30pm

February 27, 2020 at 01:30 pm | Success Story, Women

Theodora Aidoo

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

February 27, 2020 at 01:30 pm | Success Story, Women

Jenney Fazande is the first woman and the first African-American director of exhibits at the largest WWII Museum - Pic Credit: jbdesign.services

At 35, Jenney B. Fazande is the first African American woman to hold the director of exhibits position at The National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The huge museum occupies five full city blocks and it is the largest museum dedicated to WWII in America.

She started working at the World War II Museum in 2015 and since then, she’s helped produce six traveling exhibits and eight special ones.

Fazande is a creative designer with years of experience in exhibit development, fabrication and museum administration.

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Pic Credit: jbdesign.services

She holds a Master of Arts in Exhibition Design from the Corcoran College of Art and Design and has worked with museums and galleries including The National WWII Museum, The Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Design Atlanta, The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, among others.

Fazande has joined forces with community artists from various medium to bring unique installations to life in New Orleans, Atlanta, and Washington DC.

Fazande has broken down gender barriers and now holds a rare position for a female.

“I’ve had to knock on a lot of doors to get the titles and roles that I’ve wanted,” Fazande said. “Women just haven’t played a big role in exhibition design in the past so no matter the museum, hiring a woman feels new and risky even if that’s ridiculous.”

Fazande creates the layouts of the exhibitions, plans out how the exhibit pieces will be shipped from the sizes of the crates to the exact spots where the displays will go in museums once they arrive.

Fazande works to assemble a crate that will carry exhibit displays to different museums across the country.
Pic Credit: Jenney Fazande

Becoming the director of exhibits position at The National World War II Museum did not come easy. She said she has learned how to move forward in her career even when it’s hard.

“I once worked at a museum where they didn’t allow me to advance in my career in regard to promotions,” Fazande said. “At that point, I knew I had to leave and step out on faith to achieve what I wanted.”

Fazande poses with her Pace Setter Award, which she won in 2017 from the Association of African American Museums.
Pic Credit: Jenney Fazande

Fazande, however, credits her success to her support system and her parents. “I’ve had to navigate this field largely on my own, and surrounding myself with strong female friends has given me the confidence to trust my gut on big decisions,” she told NBC News.

In 2017 Fazande was awarded the 2017 PACE SETTER Award by the Association of African American Museums for her innovative traveling exhibit, Fighting for the Right to Fight: African American Experiences in World War II.

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