Public Programs

MoAD’s public programs are designed to deepen appreciation for the extraordinary stories of survival, adaptation, and reinvention that define the African Diaspora.

Our programs celebrate the impact of individuals, cultures, and nationalities of African descent on a wide range of artistic and cultural pursuits, from world music to dance to scholarship, and so much more.


As the inaugural Chef-in-Residence at MoAD, Bryant Terry creates programming that celebrates the intersection food, farming, health, activism, art, culture, and the African Diaspora.

Authors in Conversation

This series brings new and relevant scholarship and literary works to MoAD audiences. We select authors who address contemporary ideas on the African Diaspora, and African and African American life and culture.

Film Screenings

Film screenings at MoAD offer an opportunity to view a variety of films (documentaries, features & shorts) that highlight the cultural richness of Africa and the African Diaspora. Films can present history, performance, art, music, current scholarship, economic trends, global connections – the entire spectrum of topics we showcase and explore at MoAD.

Third Thursdays in Yerba Buena

Enjoy free admission to our exhibitions every Third Thursday from 5-8pm as MoAD joins Contemporary Jewish Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the California Historical Society for Art, Drink & Be Merry! The Third Thursday of each month in downtown San Francisco’s Yerba Buena neighborhood will be a monthly outing full of arts, food and drink. Wander the blocks around Yerba Buena Gardens to soak in art and music.

Lorraine Hansberry Theatre @MoAD

The Lorraine Hansberry Theatre @MoAD Project is a collaboration that connects theater and the visual arts, making each art form more accessible and relevant. Audiences are exposed to theater, while theater-goers are drawn into the world of the visual arts. The multi-arts approach is consistent with the way traditional African and African-derived societies experienced the arts as interconnected expressions of cultural identity and community.

Artist’s Talks

Artist’s Talks are often associated with exhibitions. Occasionally we present them as special events featuring contemporary African Diaspora artists and their work.

Music Across the Diaspora

MoAD, SFJazz, and Yerba Buena Gardens Festival partner to produce a yearly lecture series with John Santos each year in August & September. Lectures are combined with performances and presentations of the various musical forms that emerged from North America, the Caribbean, South America and Africa. These multi-week programs include video and audio recordings that function as mini-courses on a particular subject.

Exhibition Programs

MoAD offers a variety of programs to coincide with temporary exhibitions on view at the museum. The format changes depending upon the exhibition but can include any of the following: Curator’s Talks, Lectures, Film Screenings, Performances, Symposia, Family Programs, Workshops, and Artist’s Talks.