Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia and mother of Dr. James Sirleaf of Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, will appear at the Albany Museum of Art as part of a benefit for the HEARTT Foundation and the museum’s African art collection. (Special photo)
ALBANY — The Albany Museum of Art and Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital are hosting an evening with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the 24th president of Liberia and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, on Monday evening at the Albany Museum of Art.
“Her son is Dr. James Sirleaf (interim medical director of emergency medicine at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital),” said Cristin Kirbo, director of marketing and public relations for the museum. “She was in town visiting and she agreed to come here for her foundation and her son’s foundation.”
Sirleaf is the current president of the Republic of Liberia and the first female elected head of state in Africa. In 2011, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights.
All proceeds from the event will benefit the HEARTT Foundation and the Albany Museum of Art’s African art collection. There are about 200 people expected to come out to the event, Kirbo said.
“The response so far has been very positive,” she said.
The HEARTT Foundation’s care efforts are focused on deploying the core programs necessary to assure competency in the clinical areas of malaria and infectious diseases, child care and emergency services. HEARTT has gone on four missions per year since 2006 establishing programs in emergency medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Liberia.
The younger Sirleaf serves as chairman of the board for HEARTT, the foundation’s website says.
“Raising awareness for the two organizations (HEARTT and the art museum) is the main goal,” Kirbo said.
Kirbo said that, to her knowledge, this will be the first elected head of state to be visiting the museum.
“(It will be) a really extraordinary experience,” she said. “… We are incredibly honored we are getting this opportunity.”
Tickets are available to the general public at $50 per person for a social and presentation from the president to begin at 6 p.m. A VIP reception will be held at 5 p.m., which is an additional $50.
The Albany Museum of Art is located at 311 Meadowlark Drive adjacent to Darton State College. To purchase a ticket, call the museum at (229) 439-8400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are also expected to be available at the door.