The African Art Museum of Maryland (AAMM) has announced plans to relocate to Long Reach Village Center, in Columbia. The museum, entering a historic 40th year, is one of three in the United States focused exclusively on African art.

The museum was previously located in the Historic Oakland Manor before its move to Fulton in 2011. AAMM returns to Columbia with a three-year lease, joining the Columbia Arts Center and the Stonehouse Community Center at Long Reach, Columbia’s largest Village Center. The museum expects to move in the next two months to the 1,400 square foot space, an expansion from its current 900 square feet.

“As an institution that encourages a better understanding of African cultures and embodies both diversity and commitment to learning, we’re excited to welcome AAMM to Long Reach Village Center as the museum celebrates its 40th anniversary,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “We’re hoping this new location will encourage more visitors to the museum and aid in Long Reach Rising as the Village Center, again, becomes a premier hub for the arts, STEM, and entrepreneurism.”

“We’re absolutely delighted to be moving into a larger space at the Long Reach Village Center,” said Doris Ligon, director of The African Art Museum of Maryland. “We are excited about the revitalization and believe it can become a cultural center with us, the Columbia Art Center and the Stonehouse.”

Since 2014, The Long Reach Village Center Howard County has established this area as an Urban Renewal Area. Until earlier this year, Howard County had a redevelopment agreement with Orchard Development to redevelop the site as a mixed-use development, but the company was not able to perform the contract due to site acquisition problems. Since, RKG Associates was contracted by Howard County’s Department of Planning and Zoning to provide economic consulting services related to the rehabilitation and reactivation of the Long Reach Village Center utilizing a community-based re-tenanting strategy.