NYC’s Museum for African Art Changes Focus; Becomes New Africa Center

NYC’s Museum for African Art Changes Focus; Becomes New Africa Center

According to PND, the Museum of African Art in its efforts to raise the funds needed to complete the long-delayed construction of its permanent home  in New York City, it is planning to reinvent itself as the New Africa Center, the Wall Street Journal reports.

This development happened in the wake of the departure last October of longtime president Elsie McCabe Thompson; her successor has not been named. The organization also plans to create a policy institute and members’ club for business executives, cultural leaders, and policy makers. Currently, the organization is in the silent phase of a $60-million capital campaign to raise funds to complete construction of the building. The construction has been delayed repeatedly since ground was broken in 2007. The museum’s Chief financial officer Phil Conte told the Journal that an estimated $45 million of the $60 million would go toward finishing and equipping the building, while the remaining funds would be used for art acquisitions and operating costs until the center’s opening, currently scheduled for 2015.

According to museum officials the re-imagined institution would appeal to a broader audience and donor base, putting it on more solid financial footing while being able to maintain a focus on art. “Under the new plan, the building’s gallery space would remain unchanged, while back-office space originally planned for the third floor would be replaced by the institute and the members’ club, which are expected to generate operating revenue,” reports PND.

“By expanding our mandate, we are able to attract the increasing number of people who are interested in the continent but whose interest may lie in dance, film, policy, or business,” board co-chair Hadeel Ibrahim said in a written response to questions submitted by the Journal. She did not reveal how much the organization has raised to date.