Places that Matter


Martha Cooper; original MoCADA building
Martha Cooper; original MoCADA building
Museum promoting art, history and culture of the African Diaspora
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Place Matters Profile

Founded in 1999, the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Arts (MoCADA) is committed to the work of contemporary artists of African descent. It is one of a handful of new cultural institutions that have located in Central Brooklyn in recent years, demonstrating the increasing cultural vibrancy of this community.

Currently located on the fourth floor of a non-descript brick building, MoCADA presents rotating gallery-style exhibitions in its clean minimal space. Founded by Laurie A. Cumbo, the museum is focused on empowering its audience through exhibitions, publications, public programs, and community outreach related to the dispersal of people of African descent throughout the Americas, the Caribbean, Europe and elsewhere-creating a strong relevant link to the population of the surrounding communities.

Ms. Cumbo created MoCADA after writing her master's thesis on Bedford-Stuyvesant's ability to support a museum. Her thesis found a strong connection between church attendance and museum attendance. With over 80 churches, Bedford-Stuyvesant seemed like an ideal location for her institution, and, in fact, MoCADA's current space is leased from the Bridge Street AWME Church. As of 2004, the museum is in the midst of a capital campaign in order to move to a larger facility.


New York Times. "Discovering Bed-Stuy's Brownstones." May 21, 2000.

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