Mission & History


The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) uses the visual arts as a point of departure for exploring new artistic production across a variety of disciplines. Through exhibitions and programming, MoCADA incites dialogue on pressing social and political issues facing the African Diaspora, and fosters a dynamic space for the creation and continuous evolution of culture.


MoCADA was founded in 1999 by Laurie Angela Cumbo in a brownstone owned by the Bridge Street AWME Church in the Bedford Stuyvesant community of Brooklyn, New York. The concept of the museum grew from Ms. Cumbo’s graduate thesis at New York University, which focused on the feasibility of an African diaspora museum contributing to the revitalization of central Brooklyn economically, socially and aesthetically. The museum began with socially and politically charged exhibitions and public programs focused on contemporary issues impacting people of the African diaspora.  Fourteen years later, MoCADA has grown to serve both adults and youth throughout the diaspora, with an emphasis on underserved communities of color, through a diverse range of exhibitions, education and community programs.

In 2006, MoCADA relocated to the ground floor of James E. Davis 80 Arts Building within the BAM Cultural District in a space designed by the architectural firm of studiosumo. The larger space gives MoCADA an opportunity to expand its audiences and its programming, which includes the Exhibition and Curatorial Program, The Curatorial Fellowship and Internship Program, the Educational Artist-In-Schools and Guided Tours Program, the KIDflix Film Fest of Bed-Stuy, MoCADA Television, and the Soul of Brooklyn Tourism Initiative. MoCADA is currently working with Rodney Leon Architects PLLC to plan for the future home of MoCADA.