CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The International African American Museum (IAAM) will soon welcome visitors as it celebrates the long-awaited opening of the downtown Charleston institution that will honor and reflect on the history of the African American people, their culture, and impact on Charleston.

“We’re thrilled to welcome community members, visitors, and dignitaries from far and wide to the grand opening of the International African American Museum. We have waited a long time for this moment – we have many to thank and much to celebrate,” said Dr. Tonya Matthews, president and CEO of IAAM.

A pre-opening worship service will take place beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 22 at Morris Brown AME Church.

Organizers say the multi-faith celebration of IAAM’s opening will build community and reflect on what led to its development and opening.

Speakers include the museum’s president and CEO Dr. Tonya Matthews, Bishop Samuel Green, and Rev. DeMett Jenkins, director of education and engagement for faith-based communities at IAAM, among others.

While the service is free and open to the public, registration is required by Friday, June 9.

A dedication ceremony will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 24. The community is invited to gather in Marion Square for a live simulcast of the ceremonies and presentations that will take place at the museum.

The celebration will include live performances from the African American Songbook featuring a 12-piece band, local and big-name musicians and artists, and refreshments from Black-owned food trucks.

“It’s exciting to invite the community to join us for this historic moment. We’re preparing to open our doors with music, food, poetry, incredible visuals and words of wisdom – and to truly celebrate African American culture and its connection to and influence on the world,” added Dr. Matthews.

The museum will hold its dedication ceremony on June 24 and will be open to the public on June 27. You can learn more about purchasing tickets by clicking here.