The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) has always been a cultural thought leader. Not just in the Yerba Buena Gardens neighborhood, but in the world. The museum traces the origin of human existence back to Africa and boldly ignites conversations about the dispersion of African people. But this year, amidst uncertainty, MoAD has emerged as a new kind of leader. A leader in innovation. With perhaps the most robust online programming of any museum, MoAD has begun paving the way for a new age in virtual curation.
Each Wednesday at 1 p.m., MoAD staffers visit local artists in their studios and broadcast it via Zoom. A rare opportunity for viewers to hear directly from the artists, see what projects they are working on, and engage in conversation during a live Q&A segment.
Every other Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., the museum hosts a virtual Open Mic Night. An evening when storytellers, poets, and performers are invited to read original work and engage in discussion. It’s a creative and unique outlet that has helped people find connection during a time of social isolation.
Once a month, the museum organizes a virtual Book Club and Film Club that is open to anyone who is interested in learning more about African art and literature. The clubs’ films and books are announced one month in advance.
Plus, the institution also regularly hosts lecture series, family art workshops, panel discussions, and open conversations. All virtual. All donation based. All from the comfort of your own home.
It’s probable that MoAD’s innovative programming will change the future of museums. Even after they physically reopen. This type of virtual curation makes art, culture and history more accessible to the public, and reaches far beyond the neighborhood, uniting us in a global community.