A museum centered on Art + Education + Social Justice through the lens of Africa + the diaspora
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ABOUT

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) celebrates the cultural breadth of Africa and its diaspora via the production and presentation of visual, literary, and performing arts. Using art, education, and advocacy as vehicles for social change, we mitigate the effects of systemic racism by amplifying “voices” that are essential to the Black experience to transform people and neighborhoods near and far.

Our mission was born in 1999 from the graduate thesis of our founder Laurie Angela Cumbo on the feasibility of an African art museum contributing to the revitalization of neighboring Black communities. Twenty four years later, our mission has grown through artistic presentations, community conversations, creative expression, interactive learning, and cultural preservation. Operating as a safe space where few exist for Black people, MoCADA facilitates intersectional conversations about socio economic issues that directly impact our community, while delivering resources necessary for their thrive-ability and advocating for equity and access on every level.

Twenty plus years 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.

Gallery, Performance Space + Cafe at L10

December 2019 marked MoCADA’s 20th anniversary as a pioneering arts institution and the official groundbreaking ceremony for L10, a 50,000-square-foot space designed by Andrea Steele Architecture as a new arts hub located at the base of 300 Ashland Place in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The special project, which was Initiated by Former Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA), and managed by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (EDC) within the building developed by Two Trees, will house four independent, Brooklyn-based arts organizations including 651 Arts, BAM, Brooklyn Public Library, and MoCADA across four floors of the cultural condominium. The future flagship site of MoCADA, which includes our new state-of-the-art gallery, performance space, and cafe will open in Spring 2024.

Ubuntu Community Sculpture Garden

Our community garden is an outdoor extension to our programming, is dedicated to art, wellness, and climate justice. As a 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. Ubuntu Garden is home to MoCADA's special outdoor installation, entitled ``Brooklyn Bronzes,.`` made by South African-Australian artist Kholisile Dhliwayo and curated by MoCADA Executive Director and Chief Curator Amy Andrieux, which honors and celebrates the work of Brooklyn's living legends who have contributed immensely to arts, education and advocacy.

Abolition House

In 2018 MoCADA extended programming to Governors Island as part of the Trust for Governors Island's annual arts residency program. As a cultural organization in residence, MoCADA occupies a 5k sqft house in the Nolan Park area which we call MoCADA Abolition House. Curated as a space of refuge, visitors can escape the concrete jungle by relaxing on the porch or the lawn, and or explore special artistic presentations, public art, wellness programs, and workshops that unpack systemic oppression while creating opportunities for community justice.

Culture Lab

MoCADA was born in a Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone owned by the Bridge Street AME Church in the Central Brooklyn section of New York City, which is home to the largest collection of Black people in the United States. Quickly growing into an arts incubator, in 2006 MoCADA relocated to a space on the ground floor of the James E. Davis 80 Arts Building within the BAM Cultural District (community-defined as the Bogolan District), designed by the architectural firm of studiosumo. For nearly two decades, this historical, community space has afforded over 100 groundbreaking artists across 20+ countries have looked to and were greatly supported by MoCADA to delve deeper into their artistic practice at the museum. For many, the privilege was an opportunity to showcase their comprehensive body of work for the very first time. To celebrate this rich legacy of cultural programming and trailblazing initiatives that has empowered generations of diverse creators, the revolutionary 80 Hanson space gallery, shop and office is being repurposed to house expanded programs dedicated to our community’s personal, cultural, and professional growth. Culture Lab closed its doors on March 31, 2024.

Our Team

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.

Executive Director + Chief Curator

Production Assistant

Production Assistant

Operations

Art Director

Production Assistant

Educational Curator, AIS

Government Relations

Director of Music Programming + Live Events

Website Development

Visitor Services

Community Programs + Communication Design

Our Board

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.

Managing Director, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

Creative Producer, Managing Partner, Glorified Productions

Actor, Writer, Entrepreneur

Managing Partner, Azurest Partners

Founder, Social Impact Design Studios

Director, Streetlane

Contemporary African-American Artist

VP, Chief Cyber Legal and Privacy Officer, Adobe

Partner at Capco

EVP Digital Partnerships, MasterCard

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.

Founding Board

Founding Board

Founding Board

Founding Member (1999- 2015), Founding Board

Founding Board

Founding Board

Founding Board

The MoCADA Board of Directors is searching for people that love cultural evolution as much as we do. Have an impact on the lives of thousands of people across the African Diaspora, while collaborating with a powerful and progressive group. Interested in joining? Please email us.

MoCADA Supporters

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…