Dr. Rex M. Ellis


Dr. Rex M. Ellis is Vice president for the Historic Area at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. His presentation, lectures, workshops and consultancies focus on, public programming, diversity, interpretation, and African American History and cultures. His disciplinary interests also include the spoken word, and early American History, with special emphasis on colonial slavery.


Prior to his current position, Dr. Ellis was Curator and Chairman of the Division of Cultural History at the National Museum of American History. The Division educates its audiences about America's cultural heritage by collecting, preserving, studying, and presenting the history of individuals and their communities through their expressive forms.

For six years, Dr. Ellis was the Director of the Center for Museum Studies in the Division of Arts and Humanities at the Smithsonian Institute. Before his tenure at the Smithsonian, Ellis directed the Department of African American Interpretation and Presentations at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia. The department was responsible for the content, training and implementation of programs focusing on Colonial black history. His primary responsibility was to mainstream the experience of Colonial blacks into Williamsburg's fundamental teaching of American History.

He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, a Masters in Fine Arts from Wayne State University and an Ed. D. from the college of William and Mary. He was also an instructor in the Department of Speech Communications and Theater Arts at Hampton University.

His book Beneath the Blazing Sun: Stories from African American Journey debuted in July 1997 and was published August House Publications. His latest book With a Banjo On My Knee, chronicles the history of black banjo players, and was published September of 2001 by Grolier.

He has memberships in the Screen Actor's Guild, The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, The American Museums, the National Association of Black Storytellers and the National Storytelling Association.

Rex M. Ellis
P.O. Box 1776
Williamsburg, VA 23187

(757) 220-7160
(757) 565-8035


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