‘SAY IT LOUD: NOMA 50th Exhibition’ is open now through January 9, 2022


As it celebrates its 50th year, National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) counts close to 3,000 members in its ranks, with 35 professional chapters and 80 student chapters. NOMA members have designed numerous public and private buildings, parks and neighborhoods, including the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (1965), the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (2011) and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall (2016). Learn more about the organization's roots and celebrate its members' many contributions to the built environment in SAY IT LOUD, now open in the Detroit Historical Museum’s Robert and Mary Ann Bury Community Gallery.

Founded by a group of Black architects at the AIA Convention in Detroit in 1971, NOMA was named for all Minority architects (not just Black) as the founders envisioned a future that would unite and uplift generations of Black, Indigenous, and Persons of Color (BIPOC) – including women – in the profession. SAY IT LOUD features a timeline of the organization’s history, a photo wall of its 35 past presidents and information about its 12 founders. The exhibition also showcases the many accomplishments of its members with a wall of notable projects, both private and public. Visitors can vote on a “People’s Choice” design within the exhibit, and the winning architect will receive a special prize after the exhibition closes.

SAY IT LOUD is supported by the Graham Foundation and organized as part of the NOMA HOMECOMING: DETROIT 50 virtual conference, which took place last week and celebrated 50 years since NOMA's founding.

The exhibition was curated by Pascale Sablan FAIA, NOMA, LEED AP. Sablan is the NOMA President-Elect (2023-2024), an Associate at Adjaye Associates Architects, and Founder & Executive Director of Beyond the Built Environment LLC.

The Detroit Historical Society is an independent non-profit organization that manages the Detroit Historical Museum in Midtown and the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle, while caring for an outstanding collection of 250,000+ historic artifacts. The Society presents hundreds of educational tours, programs, workshops and lectures annually. Founded in 1921, Detroit Historical Society has worked for 100 years to foster an appreciation of our region’s rich history, telling Detroit’s stories and why they matter.

The Detroit Historical Museum is located at 5401 Woodward Ave. (NW corner of Kirby) in Midtown Detroit. The Detroit Historical Museum is currently open to the public with abbreviated hours (Thursday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.), with enhanced health and safety measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Historical content and virtual tours and exhibits are available at detroithistorical.org. Permanent exhibits include the famous Streets of Old Detroit, the Allesee Gallery of Culture, Doorway to Freedom: Detroit and the Underground Railroad, Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy,” the Gallery of Innovation, Frontiers to Factories, America’s Motor City and The Glancy Trains.