MoAD receives almost $500,000 in national and local grants to support response to Coronavirus pandemic and continued operations


Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco receives almost $500,000 in national and local grants to support response to Coronavirus pandemic and continued operations


San Francisco, CA, October 12, 2020 — The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco has recently been awarded one of 68 IMLS CARES Act Grants from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a special fund to support pandemic response work in communities across the nation. Additionally, the Museum has received critically important operational support from Grants for the Arts (GFTA), a city fund to support arts and culture organizations throughout San Francisco.


“MoAD is proud to be one of two Bay Area institutions, including the Children’s Creativity Museum, to receive this national award. To be recognized and rewarded for our consistent programming and innovative initiatives inspires our staff to keep dreaming and achieving through the turbulence 2020 has thrown at us,” said MoAD Executive Director Monetta White.


MoAD was awarded almost $300,000 from IMLS in late September to adapt to the impact of the pandemic by digitizing its exhibitions and programs and offering virtual public programs and events to the public at no charge. Programs include artist talks, scholarly and community gatherings, docent-led discussions, author talks, food lectures, and an open mic poetry session. The project helps the Museum preserve existing staff positions while providing training in new skills to support the delivery of content through digital platforms and the development of more robust digital offerings. A new position of digital content manager will develop and maintain content for the Museum’s Digital Diaspora initiative, including upgrades to the website to better accommodate access to hundreds of oral histories, public programs, and original exhibitions connecting audiences to Black contemporary art, socio-political content, curriculum, and other digital resources.


“We’ve seen unprecedented need expressed by museums and libraries on behalf of their organizations and communities, and many are on the brink—financially, emotionally, and otherwise,” said IMLS Director Crosby Kemper. “While the pandemic’s widespread impact has changed how museums and libraries engage with their communities, it has not stopped them from providing information, education, support, entertainment, and other incredible resources. We deeply appreciate the work that museums and libraries are doing as they continue their missions in the face of hardship.”


In San Francisco, the city’s GFTA program announced $12.8 million in grants to 227 arts and culture organizations at the end of August. As part of that robust effort to sustain the arts in unprecedented times, MoAD received $190,000 to cover essential day-to-day operating expenses for fiscal year 2021. An important element to GFTA funding this year was to support organizations that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, with particular attention to racial and ethnic equity.


“We continue to deal with the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and funding for arts organizations is more vital now than ever before,” said San Francisco Mayor London Breed. “As a city that prides itself on its diversity, we must continue to distribute funds equitably and support organizations that serve communities in San Francisco who are most in need.”



Opened in 2005 in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena arts district, MoAD, a contemporary art museum, celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora.


About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities.


About Grants for the Arts

Grants for the Arts, a division of the City and County of San Francisco’s City Administrator’s Office, strives to be a stable, dependable resource for nonprofit arts and culture organizations who successfully meet funding criteria, and is committed to supporting the full spectrum of art and culture in San Francisco. Established through a combination of City and State legislation, GFTA has evolved into an international model of arts funding with annual revenue derived from the hotel tax.  Since its inception in 1961, GFTA has distributed nearly $400 million to hundreds of nonprofit arts and culture organizations in San Francisco.


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