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Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Wiyaala, 2020. Courtesy of the artist and
Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, CA.

Museum of the African Diaspora Benefit Auction Raises over $450,000

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, which was forced to lay off staffers and make other cutbacks when it closed temporarily in March because of the Covid-19 crisis, has successfully raised more than $450,000 through an online benefit auction featuring works by black artists from across the globe.

According to a release, after the museum announced the cost-saving measures it was planning to take in order to stay afloat during the pandemic, it received an outpouring of support from artists, donors, gallerists, collectors, and other members of the arts community, which led to the organizing of Diaspora Unite!, the museum’s first-ever benefit auction.

“It is so important especially right now when our worlds are so unsure, to remember that the work MoAD is doing as an arts community is vital, necessary, and life-affirming,” museum director Monetta White said when the auction was announced. “Art, and access to art, is transformative and we have a responsibility to hold and create cultural spaces.”

The event, which was held on the art platform Artsy from April 21 to May 5, featured donated works from thirty-four artists—many with close ties to the museum—including Tiffany Alfonseca, Amoako Boafo, Kwame Brathwaite, Andrea Chung, William Cordova, February James, Whitfield Lovell, Wangari Mathenge, Manuel Mathieu, Rashaad Newsome, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Peter Uka, and Purvis Young.

Among the galleries and collectors to contribute to the auction were Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Roberts Projects, Goodman Gallery, Traywick Contemporary, Sikkema Jenkins, Koenig & Clinton, Arthur Lewis, Hau Nguyen, and Ron Casentini.

Established in 2005 in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena arts district, the contemporary art museum is one of the few museums in the world focused exclusively on African diaspora culture. In a statement, MoAD said it is “grateful for the support of the community. . . . The passionate response of art lovers from across the globe affirms and ensures MoAD’s mission in both the near and long-term future.”

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