Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts

Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), is a museum of contemporary art located at 80 Hanson Place in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, New York City. It is the first museum of its kind to be opened in New York.

80 Hanson Place


MoCADA was founded in 1999 by Laurie Cumbo in a building owned by the historical Bridge Street AWME Church in the heart of Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

In 2006, MoCADA moved to its current home, an expanded space at 80 Hanson Place, at South Portland Avenue, in Fort Greene, a historically black middle-class neighborhood in Brooklyn which is home to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) arts district. MoCADA has grown to accommodating many exhibitions throughout the year that highlight various identities of the African Diaspora.


Saying No: Reconciling Spirituality and Resistance in Indigenous Australian Art is an exhibition curated by Australian artist Bindi Cole. Based on Cole's previous exhibition in Australia, Saying No combines the religious ceremonial practices highlighted by Indigenous artist with the protest for Indigenous rights and visibility in the public imagaination. The curatorial statement is as follows: "The word 'no' does not exist in the Australian Aboriginal languages. Where it does exist, this powerful word is reserved for the elders and is used with great care and ceremony. As these languages reach the brink of extinction, indigenous Australian artists are using contemporary art to assert their identity and culture and say no to racism, land theft and colonialism in an urban world. Saying No features sculpture, installation, painting, photography, video, audio and mixed media works." Some of the exhibiting artists include Tony Albert, Vicki Couzens, Fiona Foley, Daniel Boyd and Maree Clark.

Community outreachEdit

In 2012, the museum landed a $100,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to pay for a two-year program that brought monthly concerts to public spaces in NYCHA Houses like Walt Whitman, Ingersoll, and Farragut in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The concert series, titled "Public Exchange," attracted talented musicians and drew crowds up to 500 or 600.[1] The following year in 2013, MoCADA launched another art performance series, Soul of Brooklyn, which is "a series of block-party style arts events meant to bring the community together and promote local businesses."[2]

From 2001 to 2011, Cumbo served as a graduate professor in the Arts and Cultural Management program at Pratt Institute's School of Art & Design.[3]


In 2014, now-city councilmember Laurie Cumbo designated $1.4 million, her largest capital budget allocation, to MoCADA, which she founded and directed before winning a position on city council. This was matched by the same amount of money in the city's executive budget for the 2015 fiscal year. While technically not illegal, Capital New York noted, her support for the museum is "notable chiefly for the sizable, seven-figure contribution, and for her personal closeness to the recipient organization." The blog reported that for most city council members, "the allocations reported on their conflict-of-interest forms were a fraction of the one to MoCADA." The executive director of Citizens Union, a nonpartisan government watchdog group, said the action “raises questions about why she alone would fund an organization that she founded....It smacks of showing favoritism, in a way that almost crosses the line."[4]Coordinates: 40°41′7″N 73°58′27.5″W / 40.68528°N 73.974306°W / 40.68528; -73.974306

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Croghan, Lore (26 June 2012). "A $100,000 grant will bring free concerts to Brooklyn housing projects". New York Daily News. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  2. ^ "MoCADA's Community-Oriented Event Season". Downtown Brooklyn. 24 April 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Alumnae Profiles: Laurie Cumbo, C'97". Spelman College. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  4. ^ Pazmino, Gloria (16 July 2014). "Councilwoman funds expansion of museum she founded". Capital New York. Politico. Retrieved 14 August 2016.

External linksEdit