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Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora gets support from government commission

The Miami-Dade North Arts & Humanities Foundation(“the Arts & Humanities Foundation”) is set to move forward with its goal of creating the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora(Miami MoCAAD). This visual arts platform will include a premier art museum, sculpture park, and artist in residence program that focuses on the contemporary art of the African diaspora. Miami MoCAAD looks to leverage arts and culture as an engine that contributes directly to the vitality of the community. Miami MoCAAD’s global reach combined with innovative local engagement will expand multicultural tourism to benefit local communities and the state.

The path for this cultural destination museum gained steam, as a result of resolutions introduced by Miami-Dade Board of County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime and co-sponsored by Commissioner Barbara Jordan(District 1). The resolutions call for support and an allocation of funds for the creation of the Miami MoCAAD.

“I was very proud to sponsor the resolution allocating $100,000 in County funds in support of efforts to create a museum dedicated to exposing residents and visitors to the art of the African Diaspora,” said Miami-Dade Board of County Commission Chairman Jean Monestime. “Miami-Dade County will be greatly enriched by the creation of such a museum, which will provide a year-round platform to celebrate the values of diversity and creativity.”

“I was honored to recently co-sponsor legislation supporting the efforts to create the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora in Northwest Miami-Dade County. I feel that our community is in desperate need of additional exposure to the rich history, art, and culture of the African Diaspora. So many of our youth need to know about the rich African heritage from which their families were derived. This museum has the potential to be a premier national and international cultural destination. ”said Commissioner Barbara Jordan.

The resolution expressing support for the creation of Miami MoCAAD passed unanimously. The resolution allocating $100,000 passed with 12 votes and only one dissenting vote.

Led by its directors, Marilyn Holifield, Sheldon Anderson and Hans Ottinot, the Arts & Humanities Foundation obtained a grant from the Knight Foundation and raised matching funds to retain museum planning consultants, the Paratus Group, and held workshops and community meetings in Opa-Locka, Miami Gardens, and Miami-Dade College North Campus. Phil Freelon/Perkins+ Will and Kunlé Adeyemi/Nlé Works who worked as collaborating architects inspected potential sites for the home of Miami MoCAAD and conducted a two-day design charrette.

At this juncture, sites in Northwest Miami-Dade County are preferred, including the Miami-Dade
College North Campus. Locating the museum in Northwest Miami-Dade provides the perfect backdrop for creating art and cultural hub that will uniquely build community, connect, educate and foster global and local art exchanges.

“It is important to preserve the history of our people, especially through the unbiased lens of the arts. Equally as important to that history, are those that traveled to this country by way of different circumstances but have greatly contributed to the fabric of this nation in all areas of life. I am both honored and humbled to support the development of the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora and look forward to the beginning of a great work,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Audrey Edmonson.

“I had a chance to visit Art Basel, and I was amazed at the amount of art that depicted life in the African Diaspora. Different activities have exploded all over Miami-Dade County during this week because Art Basel is here. It speaks to the importance of art as we promote Miami-Dade County as a world class community. The development of The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora will help further that reputation. It will also serve as an economic development tool that can bring resources and people to the community.” Commissioner Dennis C. Moss.

“Miami-Dade County has one of the most dynamic Black diaspora communities in America and the world. A museum of this kind located in the heart of the community will not only be an economic development magnet but will also be a testament to who Black Miami is and who we wish to be through the eyes of our contemporary artists” states Marlon Hill, Partner at Hamilton, Miller & Birthisel, LLP.

In addition to the directors of the Arts & Humanities Foundation, the Museum Working Group includes Dr. Keshia Abraham, Malik Benjamin, Etzer Botes, Melvin Bratton, Dr. Benjamin Cowins, Dr. Ralph Hogges, Michelle Johnson, Dr. Willie Logan, Carolyn “Kiani” Nesbitt, Bryant Salter and Theresa Therilus.

For more information contact: Marilyn Holifield at email: miamimocaad [at] Gmail [dot]com.