Director of Curatorial Affairs
EXPERTISE: Joy Bivins’s areas of expertise include but are not limited to the following Chicago topics: African American history, including the Great Migration; Chicago’s world’s fairs; gospel music history; and urban history. Joy is also an expert in general U.S. history.
EXPERIENCE: Chicago History Museum (Director of Curatorial Affairs, 2015-present; Curator, 2003-2015; Exhibition Developer, 2002-03)
EDUCATION: M.P.S., Africana Studies, Cornell University, 2003; B.A., History and Afro-American and African Studies, University of Michigan, 1998
Joy Bivins joined the staff of the Chicago History Museum in 2002. Since that time, Bivins has collaborated on a number of diverse exhibition projects including Teen Chicago (2004); Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America (2005); Facing Freedom in America (2010); and Inspiring Beauty: 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair (2013).
Ms. Bivins presents regularly at local elementary and high schools and has presented at the annual meetings of the American Alliance of Museums, the Association of African American Museums, the Association of Midwest Museums, and the Costume Colloquium in Florence, Italy. She has contributed to the Journal of American History, Chicago History, Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art, and co-edited the exhibition catalog for Inspiring Beauty. In addition to curatorial work, Ms. Bivins has taught classes on museum interpretation at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. A native Chicagoan, Ms. Bivins completed her undergraduate education at the University of Michigan and graduate education at Cornell University.