Founded in 1999 by Laurie Angela Cumbo in a brownstone owned by the Bridge Street AME Church in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community of Brooklyn, New York, the concept of MoCADA grew from Ms. Cumbo’s graduate thesis, which focused on the feasibility of an African art museum contributing to the revitalization of central Brooklyn communites economically, socially, politically, and aesthetically.
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.
Twenty plus years later since our inception, MoCADA has grown through three programmatic arms — Art, Education, and Advocacy, operates from four spaces, and has given platform to over 100 artists from 20+ countries across the diaspora.
The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) uplifts the visual, literary, and performing arts as a conduit that connects the shared history, values, and futures of Africa and its diaspora, for the purpose of advancing dialogue on pressing social + political issues faced by these communities. Using art as a vehicle of social change, we give platform within our safe spaces to artists whose work honor, celebrate, and expand this rich, intersectional conversation, while inviting all in to explore, engage, and thrive within our collective evolution. Twenty years later, our mission has grown through three programmatic arms – Art, Education, and Advocacy – that use art as a vehicle for social change via the celebration of Africa and its diaspora. Through new artistic productions and presentations, community conversations, creative expression, interactive learning, and cultural preservation, we amplify “voices” that are central to the upliftment of our community and advocate for equity and access on every level.
Celebrating 20 Years!
2019-2020 marks MoCADA’s 20th anniversary as a pioneering arts institution. To celebrate two decades of rich, cultural programming and trailblazing initiatives that empower generations of diverse creators, our offerings will include several new + expanded programs, which will culminate with a move into MoCADA's future home at 300 Ashland Place. Also known as L10, a 50,000 square feet art space developed by Two Trees and designed by Andrea Steele Architecture. This new cultural destination will host four Brooklyn-based arts organizations including 651 Arts, BAM, Brooklyn Public Library, and MoCADA across four floors.
Inside the new MoCADA
December 4, 2019 marked the official groundbreaking ceremony for L10, which saw a convening of the Directors and board members of all four cultural partners (BAM, Brooklyn Public Library, 651 Arts, and MoCADA), DCLA's Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, MoCADA Founder and City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, staff members of EDC, Two Trees, and Andrea Steele Architecture in celebration of the initiative that took almost a decade to realize. Construction in the raw space began on Monday, December 9, 2019, with an estimated move-in date of Winter 2023. Read the speech delivered by MoCADA’s Executive Director/Chief Curator, Amy Andrieux here.
Community Sculpture Garden
MoCADA Ubuntu Garden, an outdoor extension to our programming, is dedicated to art, wellness, and climate justice. As a community green space, visitors of all ages are invited to learn about the flowers in our garden, explore our permanent public art installation and new murals, attend workshops and special events, and so much more.
MoCADA strives to create a diverse network of outstanding professionals from within and outside of the contemporary art landscape, to enable and propel the greater creative community towards excellence.
The MoCADA Board provides leadership in the development of economic and community resources to support MoCADA’s mission. The Board is responsible for strategic planning, governance, budget approval, fundraising leadership, and the Museum’s legal affairs.
MoCADA Board Members Emeritus
The following individuals have been bestowed the title of MoCADA Board Member Emeritus due to their distinct leadership, vision and contributions while serving on the MoCADA Board of Directors. The honorary title of Board Emeritus entitles these members to lifetime benefits from MoCADA.
MoCADA programming is made possible thanks to the generous gifts from patrons like you and the following organizations and partners:
The Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Teiger Foundation, Willem de Kooning Foundation, Andy Warhol Foundation, Arison Arts Foundation, Fox Aarons Foundation, NY Community Trust, Mosaic Network Fund, Richard Pousette-Dart Foundation, Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Open Society Foundation, Cy Twombly Foundation, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, Kraus Family Foundation, Milton & Sally Avery Arts Foundation, The Black Seed Fund, Humanities New York, Darryl Chappell Foundation…
ConEdison, Campari, LVMH, WarnerMedia Onefifty, Verizon, NYU Media Lab, AT&T, Macquarie Group, M&T Bank, Mailchimp…
NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, NYC Parks, NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, NYC Department of Education, NYC GreenThumb, NYC Coalition of Theaters of Color, NYC Cultural Immigrant Initiative, NYC Speaker’s Initiative, NYC CASA program…
DASNY, New York State Council on the Arts, NYSCA Electronic Media/Film Partnership with Wave Farm…
Institute of Library and Museum Services (IMLS), National Endowment for the Arts
NYC Councilmembers Crystal Hudson, Chi Ossé, and Christopher Marte…
Former NYC Councilmembers Robert Cornegy, Mathieu Eugene and Laurie Cumbo..