There’s no masking it — this was one successful bash!
Fort Greene’s Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts hosted the first of what it hopes will be many masquerade balls last Thursday, with scores of museum supporters donning dazzling masks and filling a nearby Brooklyn Academy of Music hall to celebrate the institution’s first 15 years, said a gallery bigwig.
“This is our coming out party in a way,” said the museum’s executive director James Bartlett. “It surpassed all of our hopes and dreams for our first gala.”
Bartlett announced at the May 14 function that the museum, which is currently on Hanson Place at S. Portland Avenue, has raised more than $6 million for a new home. He refused to say the exact location of the new home or when the museum will move in, but revealed that it was within the so-called Brooklyn Cultural District — which basically means that it is staying in the same general area, near the border of Downtown and Fort Greene.
The fund-raising festivity amassed more than $200,000 for the museum’s programs, including installing art in public housing, school programming, and exhibitions.
Captain Kirk Douglas from hip-hop band the Roots serenaded the soiree with six strings, and the museum presented awards for arts and humanitarian advocacy to luminaries including filmmaker Spike Lee, film producer Tonya Lewis Lee, artist Mickalene Thomas, and Phillip Agnew of the activist group Dream Defenders.