Recent months have been a whirlwind. Never one for a dull moment, I jumped when presented an opportunity to attend the 2nd annual Masquerade Ball of the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City. Hat tip to Melissa and David for clearing the path for my attendance.
Laurie Angela Cumbo is the museum’s founder. Her graduate thesis at New York University led to the creation of MoCADA in 1999. It has evolved considerably in 17 years and is now pursuing a move to a larger facility.
“Through exhibitions and programming, MoCADA incites dialogue on pressing social and political issues facing the African Diaspora, and fosters a dynamic space for the creation and continuous evolution of culture.”
A visual feast, the MoCADA Masquerade Ball fed my curious eyes and every sense and inch. The event space at BAM was filled with gorgeous decor and sitting areas, art and other items being auctioned, plentiful NOLA-inspired and Cuban cuisine, and of course NYC’s most gifted artists and beautiful people from across the Diaspora and beyond.
The program recognized the Museum’s impact and honored individuals who have positively influenced contemporary African diasporan arts, Brooklyn and the wider community. Singers Maxwell (!)and Estelle, along with style maven Bevy Smith were Honorary Gala Chairs.
As with past soirees (like this one and this one), experiences at MoCADA’s gala fueled ideas for the Gantt Center’s Jazzy Holiday Gala and other events. Unsurprising though, being a guest is way more fun than working as an event planner. That’s how it goes. — VF
“Giving Back is a Fullwood project several years in the making and documents the rich history and core values within the Black community of giving time, talent, and treasure to others. Fullwood partnered with photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr. to tell more than 60 stories through remarkable and lush imagery, interviews, and anecdotes.
“The book is a testament to the storied tradition of centuries-old customs that endure throughout the African Diaspora. Fullwood notes that during slavery and its aftermath in America, communities would have perished without the generosity, innovation, and sacrifices of their members. While rarely recognized as philanthropists, the members of these communities most certainly were just that. …
“Giving Back is a joyous exultation at the power of the human spirit. Few pleasures in life offer as much satisfaction as doing for others; this remarkable book celebrates the legacy of the legions within our community who discovered this succor in a significant and meaningful way.”
— Michael J. Solender, City Life Editor for Charlotte Viewpoint