The mission of San Francisco’s Museum of African Diaspora “celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora” and right now, like many cultural institutions across the country, they need help.
According to KQED and a San Francisco Arts Alliance survey, “San Francisco arts organizations anticipate losing up to $73 million in earned income and donations if the novel coronavirus crisis proceeds through the summer”.
Currently, Covid-19 has forced MoAD to furlough and lay off key staff amidst revenue and fundraising shortfalls that threaten the future of the 15 year old museum.
In an effort to combat the financial instability and uncertainty presented by these challenges, MoAD has reached out to a group of artists who agreed to pledge their work for sale in MoAD: Diaspora Unite! Artists of African Descent Benefit Auction 2020. The on-line auction sponsored by Artsy will take place between April 21 through May 5th.
The sale is part of a larger goal to galvanize the community in support of MoAD’s future. The museum remains a vital link between the community and contemporary art representing the vibrancy and diversity within the African Diaspora. While there are certainly far more urgent concerns with hundreds of thousands of lives at stake, unemployment on the rise, small businesses face financial ruin, and our futures remain uncertain, we cannot overlook the important role art plays in helping us process and live through these times. “Arts institutions are important now, more than ever, as artists continue to teach us new ways of existing”, says MoAD’s director Monetta White.
At museum at press time, the growing list of participating artists submitting artwork include: Otis Kwame Kye Oquaicoe, Amoako Boafo, Manuel Mathieu, Ferrari Sheppard, Wangari Mathenge, Andrea Chung, Cassi Namoda, William Cordova, Purvis Young, Adia Millett, Lava Thomas, Didier William, Raelis Vasquez,Dewey Crumpler, Wesaam Al-Badry, Enrico Riley, Tiffany Alfonseca, February James, Whitfield Lovell, Peter Uka, Kwame Brathwaite, Ludovic Nkoth, Jerrell Gibbs, Dominic Chambers, Clotilde Jiménez, Todd Gray, Rashaad Newsome and American Artist.
Donated works in Diaspora Unite! will be viewable online when the auction begins on Tuesday, April 21st at 1:00 pm PDT /4:00 pm EDT. The portraits are particularly stunning and I’m looking forward to seeing the remaining lots on Tuesday.
Have a great week!