​April 24, 2020

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Dear Friends,

We made it through another week of hibernation and social distancing. We hope that during this time of quarantine, everyone is finding innovative ways to remain in touch with family and friends. It’s great connecting with you as Miami MoCAAD tries to provide a little relief during this crisis. In continuation of our celebration of April as International Black Women’s History Month, we bring you diversity within diversity by highlighting Black women artists from the global diaspora. We offer resources for artists and home schooling, and “Moments” of inspiration and exploration through artists’ videos, art news, reflections on Black Miami, spoken word, and our congratulations to Miami-based film director, Dudley Alexis.

We continue to thank all of those who are working to support our community and pray for a smart and safe transition back to life as we knew it not so long ago.

We are in this together,

The Miami MoCAAD Team




Miami MoCAAD celebrates diversity within diversity for International Black Women’s History Month. Whether it’s Jamaica or Nigeria, the United States or Haiti, Black women have used artistic expression to convey lyrical portrayals of the Black experience. We salute the global contributions and achievements of Amy Sherald, Vickie Pierre, Ebony Patterson, and Njideka Akunyili Crosby.

The Boy With No Past , Amy Sherald

Amy Sherald is an African American painter based in Baltimore, Maryland. Sherald is most known for her portrait painting of former First Lady Michelle Obama . Through her portraits, Sherald explores how people construct and perform their identities in response to political, social, and cultural expectations. Her colorful, contrasting canvases demand the viewer to see the subject. Many of her portraits feature subjects who appear to gaze intentionally at the viewer. Although what they see in the viewer is unknowable, it is always fun to speculate. Watch this video interview with Amy Sherald talking about the Michelle Obama portrait and her work.

Poupees in the Bush series (3) , Vickie Pierre

Vickie Pierre is a Haitian American multimedia artist living in Miami, Florida. Her continued focus is on the exploration of self-identity, with references to feminine tropes and historic and contemporary cultural politics, while concurrently observing and considering latent associations to Haitian culture and mythologies. Her installations and assemblages are fun and surreal. Take the installation above for example. What do you think it’s saying?

Watch Vickie Pierre talk about a recent exhibition here .

Dead Tree in a Forest, Ebony G. Patterson

Ebony G. Patterson is a Jamaican mixed-media artist whose work explores gender and Jamaican dancehall culture. Patterson’s bright and colorful art represents transformations of gender and body politics by blending tapestry, beading, sequins, and crochet, with Internet-sourced images of violent murders. The resulting pieces seduce the viewer with mesmerizing and striking textures. “I’m hoping…,” she explains, “to pull the viewer in to see further and raise questions about how we engage in the act of looking.” Patterson’s work thus elicits a civic awareness that raises the stakes for popular culture. To see her talk about her work, click here .

5 Umezebi Street, New Haven, Enugu , Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Njideka Akunyili Crosby is a Nigerian figurative painter whose large-scale works express the hybridity characteristic of transnational experience through choices of subject matter, materials, and techniques. Akunyili Crosby layers paint, fabric, and photographic source imagery that she transfers or collages onto her surfaces. Her paintings construct scenes based on family photos, cutouts from Nigerian newspapers and magazines, and commemorative cloth, in order to signal the works' engagement with both the collective and personal.

Listen to Njideka Akunyili Crosby speak about her work and process, here .

Artist Relief . To support artists during the COVID-19 pandemic, a coalition of national arts grant makers have come together to create an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States. Artist Relief will distribute $5,000 grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to COVID-19; serve as an ongoing informational resource; and co-launch the COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers designed by Americans for the Arts , to better identify and address the needs of artists. Click here for more details .  

Foundation for Contemporary Arts . Emergency Grants is the only active, multi-disciplinary program that offers immediate assistance of this kind to artists living and working anywhere in the United States, for projects occurring in the U.S. and abroad. Each month FCA receives an average of 95 Emergency Grant applications and makes approximately 12-15 grants. Click here for more details .

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Foundation is offering $1.6m in emergency grants to individual artists affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. With the help of its Regional Re-granting Program partners, grants of $100,000 will be allocated to artists in 16 US cities that can be used to help cover basic expenses such as food, rent, medical costs and childcare .  Re-granting programs currently exist in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Baltimore; Chicago; Cleveland; Denver; Houston; Kansas City;  Miami, Minneapolis; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Portland, Maine; Portland, Oregon; Saint Louis; San Francisco and Washington DC.

Click here for more details.

Support for Arts Organizations. The Knight Foundation has engaged consulting firm, FMA, which works with nonprofits, to respond to questions about relief programs offered by the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Knight is making available the recording of a webinar presented by FMA on how arts organizations interested in applying for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) can apply.  The PPP provides funds to small businesses to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs. Inside Charity has a detailed  outline  explaining how eligible nonprofits may take advantage of this program. To get you started, FMA has posted  a PPP toolkit  on its website. Other resources for navigating the help available through the CARES Act include:   Independent Sector ;  Council on Foundations ;  National Council of Nonprofits ; and  Americans for the Arts.


Miami MoCAAD congratulates director Dudley Alexis on his documentary film, When Liberty Burns , which won the $30,000 Knight Made in MIA Feature Film Award, the most eagerly anticipated prize of the festival. The film details the 1980s race riots in Liberty City following the deadly police beating of Arthur McDuffy. The film screened at the 37 th Miami Film Festival this past March. To find out more about this film, check out the film’s website here .


Read with Former First Lady Michelle Obama

For all the exhausted families trying to keep their children entertained during the coronavirus pandemic, here's some good news: Michelle Obama is hosting story time! The former first lady announced that she is teaming up with PBS Kids and Penguin Random House to host a weekly read-aloud series for four weeks every Monday. Tune in on Monday April 27 at 12 PM ET to listen Mrs. Obama read her favorite children’s books in the event called “Mondays with Michelle Obama” ! Families can tune in to the livestream on the PBS Kids' Facebook page  and  YouTube channel , or the Penguin Random House’s  Facebook page .

Read with LeVar Burton (Remember Reading Rainbow?)

It’s safe to say everyone is familiar with LeVar Burton, whether it’s from  Roots, Star Trek,  or  Reading Rainbow . Burton loves to read and to spread his love of literature to others. While we are stuck inside due to the coronavirus, he is hosting a twitter LIVE reading of youth, young adult (YA), and adult stories. The times are as follows: Mondays at 9am PT / 12pm ET for children, Wednesdays at 3pm PT / 6 ET for YA, and Fridays at 6pm PT / 9pm ET for adults. Make your way to his twitter  here ! If you are interested in more adult story readings, be sure to check out his podcast , “ LeVar Burton Reads ”!

Students all across the country have had their education interrupted and are feeling the effects of the escalating coronavirus pandemic. And the parents who are expected to play teacher in light of school closings are certainly feeling it too. Enter Black-owned educational resource Frog Tutoring . This tutoring company is offering free online instruction for students K-12. (Essence)

To sign up for free tutoring click here .

Get your child learning a new language! Global edtech firm Studycat is donating its award-winning Fun Series of language learning apps to families. The language learning apps teach 3-year-olds to 8-year-olds English, Chinese, Spanish, French and German. Mateo Solares, co-founder of Studycat said, “We are committed to helping young children at this time, allowing them to learn new things while having fun, turning their minds to something constructive. (The Miami Herald)

To sign up for a free subscription click here .


We can all use words of hope and love amid this COVID-19 pandemic. In celebration of April as National Poetry Month, we salute Amanda Gorman, the U.S.'s inaugural youth poet laureate. Gorman's work focuses on issues of oppression, feminism, race, and marginalization, as well as the African diaspora. In a performance for "CBS This Morning," Gorman offers her words of encouragement during this trying time as she recites one of her poems at the Los Angeles Central Public Library. To see and hear her spoken word, click here .


The 2018 volume of The International Review of African American Art features Miami MoCAAD in an article titled Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora: Global Reach Based in Miami (MoCAAD) . The article discusses Miami MoCAAD’s mission to fill a void in the art world where Black voices (at home in the States and globally) have historically been left out of the contemporary art canon. The museum could not be more at home in Miami, a global hub, where African Americans and Black immigrants have a rich history in the city, and where Black immigrants are currently a third of Greater Miami’s Black population. What better city than Miami, a city known for its diversity and liveliness? Miami MoCAAD, “… will inspire. It will provoke. It will touch the human spirit. It will change people’s worldview.” Click here for full article .

Miami based Sugarcane Magazine is a digital destination for artists from all walks of the global Black life experience. Dedicated to uniting and exposing creatives from Africa and the African diaspora, Sugarcane reports on the art, creatives, issues, trends, and events shaping the international art world. It connects thousands of readers globally with the world’s leading visual and performing artists. For more click here .

Looking for Black Miami: Black Intellectual and Artistic Formations , edited by Donette Francis and Allison Harris, features six leading Black academics who reflect on growing up in Miami and reveal hemispheric, multilingual, multiethnic Blackness that rarely figures in depictions of Miami's celebrated diversity. The authors take you through neighborhoods of Allapattah, Brownsville, Little Haiti, Liberty City, Opa-Locka, Carol City, West Coconut Grove, The Orange Bowl and Miramar and offer critical interventions into American, Black, and Caribbean Studies. For more click here .

MIAMI MoCAAD's Quarantine Houses!

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Click here for video of Miami MoCAAD’s inaugural pop up exhibition titled, Reconstructing Identity: An Exploration of Identity and Diaspora Through Artistic Practice, showcasing talent from Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and the U.S. The exhibition featured established and emerging artists in the Miami area. Read more about Reconstructing here and stay tuned for upcoming events!

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