Dear Family, Friends, and Supporters,
It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that I announce to you that I will begin the next chapter of my life. Wow! In 1999, after graduating from New York University with a Master’s Degree in Visual Arts Administration and a thesis focused on creating Brooklyn’s first African Diaspora Art Museum, I had no idea where this incredible journey would take us! I founded MoCADA to satisfy my passion to create social, political and economic change through the arts. I have you to thank for believing in this vision and your continued support has taken this institution to unfathomable heights!
Twelve years later, there have been over 100 exhibitions, over 500 public programs, 13 Years of the Annual KIDflix Film Fest of Bed-Stuy, over 100 interns trained in arts administration that are working all over the world, thousands of school tours, after-school art programs for thousands of children in underserved communities, MoCADA TV and our Soul of Brooklyn Arts & Business Partnership!
The accomplishments of MoCADA are many and the Museum has become the “Town Hall” institution of Brooklyn bringing together thousands of diverse people to discuss such challenging issues as gentrification, the rebuilding of Haiti, the war in Iraq, gun violence and women’s reproductive rights to name a few. Most importantly, MoCADA has become the institution for emerging Museum professionals who are eager to have a voice and make a contribution towards creating social, political and economic change.
When I began MoCADA twelve years ago, it was just me. Now the staff has grown to six full-time, outstanding Museum professionals and two Curatorial Fellows who will continue the work of MoCADA as I pass the baton. MoCADA’s board of directors and staff have selected James Bartlett to be the new Executive Director of MoCADA. He has worked successfully with the organization over the last three years expanding our community programs, creating international partnerships and securing new sources of revenue for the institution. MoCADA is looking forward to an amazing future under Mr. Bartlett’s leadership. Trust me, you haven’t seen nuthin’ yet!
Mr. Bartlett will assume the position of Executive Director effective October 1st. I will remain with MoCADA until January 2013 as a consultant, assisting in the leadership transition process, training new team members, and fundraising, in order to ensure MoCADA’s legacy will live well beyond my presence at the Museum. We look forward to your continued and increased support of MoCADA during this critical transition period that every lasting institution must face. MoCADA’s significance to Brooklyn and beyond is far more important than any one leader (as any great institution should be)!
What will I be going off to do you might ask?… I have decided to run for the office of New York City Council, 35th District covering the communities of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights and parts of Bedford Stuyvesant! This is a major and important decision in my life, and one that has come with careful thought and deliberation with my family and friends who have guided me throughout my life’s decisions. This has been my greatest calling ever and one that has been too powerful for me to ignore. I look forward to beginning this journey to reinvent and create a more equitable and sustainable community that will preserve our greatest asset, which is our diversity!
For all questions related to the campaign please direct them only to email@example.com. Thank you again for all of your support over the years. It has meant the world to me!
With All My Love,
Laurie Angela Cumbo
Founder, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts
Throughout James Bartlett’s diverse career in media and the arts, he has developed new models for creative development that take into account the changing landscape of modern business, media, and technology. In 2006, Mr. Bartlett co-founded MVMT, a business cooperative supporting progressive companies that serve artists and arts organizations through marketing, design, media production, and consulting. From 2006 to 2011, Mr. Bartlett managed media and marketing projects for groups as varied as Youth Speaks, Hip Hop Theater Festival, Simmons/Lathan Media Group, The New School, The Anchorage Urban League, and the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. In 2008, Mr. Bartlett co-founded Embassy MVMT, a music development company that combined management services with media production, marketing, and strategic planning. Additionally, Mr. Bartlett co-founded, Media MVMT, a film production house. Media MVMT’s first feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, blurs the lines between narrative and documentary film through a blend of animation, documentation, and dramatization. Mr. Bartlett’s diverse array of arts and media experience has prepared him for his latest challenge as Executive Director of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. He is excited to continue the museum’s legacy of redrawing the boundaries of contemporary art and culture.