September 21, 2020

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Leroy Campbell, Voting Together

Dear Friends,

You have a voice that deserves to be heard and a vote that deserves to be counted. In a nation built on the promise of democracy, your vote is essential! If change is important, change must be demanded--in peaceful protests and at the polls. As we approach deadlines for voter registration next month, let us be inspired by the plight of this moment to participate in our local, state and national elections.

September 18, 2020 marked the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg's support for gender equity, marriage equality and voting rights defines her legacy as a giant for justice. We send our condolences to her family and loved ones. May her memory inspire and give hope.

This month, Miami MoCAAD features artists whose art encourages and emphasizes civic engagement in the United States and abroad. Additionally, we present “Moments” of inspiration and exploration through museum moments, reading moments focusing on Black Florida history, an upcoming Virtual Town Hall on civic engagement and voting, quiz and music moments, and much more.

We remind all to wear masks, and stay safe and smart to protect ourselves and each other.


The Miami MoCAAD Team

Throughout history, art has been used to engage and respond to the political climate of the time. Miami MoCAAD salutes Elizabeth Catlett, Willie Bester, June Edmonds and Jack Whitten for using their talent to seek justice, inspire participation and demand change.

Elizabeth Catlett, Homage to My Young Black Sisters

Elizabeth Catlett was an American print maker and sculptor, who emigrated to Mexico. She found combining realism and abstract art interesting and liked to interpret women: women's ideas, women's feelings and aestheticism. Catlett used the spirit and often the form of African art to express universal ideas.

Willie Bester, Election 94

Willie Bester is a South African painter, sculptor, and collage maker. Bester is well known for using his art to protest apartheid. He continues to create art in post-apartheid South Africa protesting corruption and focusing on climate change.

June Edmonds, Claudette Colvin Flag

June Edmonds is a painter and public artist based in California. Her work is recognizable for its colorful and layered composition. Her series, Flag Paintings, features dark American flags titled with moments or people in difficult periods in American history.  Flag Paintings includes Claudette Colvin who at 15, was arrested in Montgomery AL for refusing to give her seat to a white woman nine months before Rosa Parks. View flag paintings here!

Jack Whitten, King’s Wish (Martin Luther’s Dream)

Jack Whitten was an American painter and sculptor. An abstract expressionist, he experimented with his process and work. He saw Martin Luther King, Jr. speak during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, which made this painting more personal. Whitten’s work depicted his ruminations on the politically tumultuous 1960s, the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Movement.

Leroy Campbell, Untitled

Elijah Pierce’s America, will be exhibited at the Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA, September to January 1, 2021. Elijah Pierce, a virtuoso woodcarver was active during the 1900s. Follow this link to register for an online curator talk about Pierce’s work on September 23 from 4-5pm. It's free!

Gregory Coates' "RIGHT BACK ATCHA! is at N’Namdi Contemporary Fine Arts, Little Haiti Miami in a virtual walk through, Coates takes us through the exhibition and talks about each of his works. Watch it here! The gallery is open by appointment.

T. Eliot Mansa's assemblage, paintings, and sculptures incorporate found materials in ways that subvert their original intent, re-imagining them as apotropaic objects. LnS Gallery Miami will present Mansa's work in an exhibit, For Those Gathering In the Wind, curated by Donnamarie Baptiste, beginning December 2. To read more about his work, read about this studio visit reported by Angela Carroll in Sugarcane Magazine.

Carrie Mae Weems' Kitchen Table series is one of her most iconic bodies of work. The Kitchen Table is one of the few photographic series to “cast a black female protagonist in a journey towards empowerment.”. View images here.

Say What You Want To Say. Work of fifteen Black artists, dealing primarily with culture, race and identity will be presented by the Los Angeles Center of Photography in an online exhibition, which will run through October 31.


Art and technology can change the world. Join us for our September 24th, 6:00pm to 7:30pm, virtual town hall about the importance of civic engagement to arts and technology communities. It's co-sponsored by the Florida Memorial University Social Justice Institute, Harvard Black Alumni Society of South Florida, Beta Tau Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Venture Cafe Miami and Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora (Miami MoCAAD). (Zoom to Facebook)

To view the September 17th Ready Set Vote! recorded program, click here.


Vinnie Bagwell, My Soul Looks Back

Miami MoCAAD Creative Conversation Moment

October 22, 6-7:30pm, Salute to Humanities Month (October) and Civic Engagement

There are many ways to advocate for social and political change. Some demand change by protesting, while others use arts education as a tool for liberation. Peter London exemplifies the change that is possible when social consciousness marries passionate creativity.

Miami MoCAAD’s Creative Conversation will feature Peter London, founder, artistic director and choreographer of Peter London Global Dance Company. The conversation will cover his journey as an agent for social change from Trinidad and Tobago to The Julliard School, Martha Graham Dance Company and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as well as his development of the Peter London Global Dance Company. This year's virtual Annual December Adrienne Arsht Center world premier will include a dance adaptation of Marilyn Holifield’s chapter, Roses From My Father, My Mother’s Dreams” in the collective memoir, Seven Sisters and a Brother: Friendship, Resistance, and Untold Truths about Black Student Activism in the 1960s. The conversation will also cover his creative process for the 2021 expanded version of the dance based on the entire book.

Dale Jennings, II, a Miami native, graduate of Miami Northwestern Senior High School, Swarthmore College and University of Pennsylvania Law School, who was a choreographer and dancer in college, will engage Peter London in conversation.


Mark Bradford, I Heard You Got Arrested Today

What was the first state to adopt a poll tax in the United States?

A. Mississippi B. Alabama C. Florida D. South Carolina

When was the poll tax first adopted in United States?

A. 1865  B.  1877 C. 1898 D. 1920

When was the poll tax abolished in Florida?

A. 1938   B. 1965  C. 1970  D. Not yet

Find answers on Miami MoCAAD's Facebook and Instagram!


A Collector’s Story: Bahia Ramos

Many of us may feel that we are unable to collect art or support artists. Bahia Ramos argues otherwise. Buy a print or an art catalogue. Talk with artists about their art. Art collecting and supporting artists in our communities are for everyone!

Alphabet Card used in Chicago Public Schools cicra 1970

The Miami-Dade Public Library System is offering free, 30-minute one-on-one virtual math and reading tutoring for K-12 children. Sign up here.

Books Read Aloud for Children. School is in session! Here are two books that are read aloud on YouTube for children. Listen to Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes and Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed.

Odili Donald Odita,Television (Blue)

Tameka Bradley Hobbs exposes Florida's harsh racial history in Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home: Racial Violence in Florida. Dr. Hobbs, an historian and founder of the Florida Memorial Social Justice Institute, delves into why Florida suffered more lynching and violence than other states. This is a book you won’t want to miss, click here for more.

N. B. D. Connolly, an historian at Johns Hopkins University, explores Miami's racial inequality in A World More Concrete.  The forced removal of blacks from their homes in Railroad Square, reinforced enduring racial wealth disparities. Miami-Dade School Board Member, Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall, vividly remembers the day when she was a young girl that her family was thrown out of their home so a school for whites could be built on her family's land. Click here.

Marvin Dunn author of Black Miami, a book about Black communities that shaped Miami, was recently interviewed on Sundial Luis by Hernandez on WLRN-FM. Listen here!

Barbara Jones-Hogu, Unite (First State) 1969

Music for Social Justice

The College of Music at Michigan State University is releasing a Music for Social Justice video series. They hope to bring awareness to the injustices faced by Black Americans across the country. The series is airing thorough December. See past and information about future episodes here!

Global Afro Rhythms Festival

The 22nd annual Afro Roots Festival is going virtual this year. This event highlights the widespread influence of African musical traditions. Listen to Miami based legacy and upcoming bands such as Johnny Dread, Alsarah, Cortadito, Venezonix, and Spam All Stars all hosted by the legendary George Collinet of AfroPop. Click here to listen to the stream!

Black Reflections

Conversations in three virtual panels seek to illuminate often overlooked contributions of Black musicians and composers to concert music. These conversations on racial justice in music are presented by the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and New World Symphony. Watch the captivating first panel here. The remaining panels air Thursday, October 8 at 7 pm and Thursday, November 12 at 7pm. Click here for information!

Gateways Music Festival

The Gateways Music Festival is moving online to a five day program November 9-13, 2020. The 2020 festival will include virtual solo and ensemble performances, lectures (including a panel on the intersection of BLM and classical music) and more! This innovative orchestral arrangement of Lift Every Voice and Sing provides a small taste of the festival.

Artist Relief. To support artists during the COVID-19 crisis, a coalition of national arts grantmakers 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. Applications are now open for Cycle VI, which closes at 11:59pm ET on September 23rd.

The Miami Foundation. In partnership with Miami-Dade County, through its Department of Public Housing and Community Development (PHCD), The Miami Foundation is offering one-time grants to nonprofits to help provide relief to organizations impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The application deadline is September 30, 2020.



The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora, Miami MoCAAD, will discover, commission, collect and preserve the work of the most advanced contemporary artists of the Global African Diaspora and exhibit this art at the highest level at home and abroad.


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