This year has been one of significant milestones at The Africa Center. For the first time ever, we opened two exhibitions in our newly constructed public space. Earlier this year The Africa Center presented African/American: Making the Nation’s Table, a Museum of Food & Drink exhibition. The exhibition included the exploration of African culinary and agricultural traditions that have permeated African American food traditions and much of American food culture that we enjoy today, especially around the holidays. Currently on view, States of Becoming, curated by Fitsum Shebeshe and produced by our partners at Independent Curators International (ICI), surveys the work of 17 artists of African descent and presents the ways in which their Trans-Atlantic experiences have impacted their creative practices and their lives.
This holiday season, we are excited to share a special announcement with you. Due to a very generous gift from the K Period Media Foundation, admission to States of Becoming will immediately become “pay what you can.” Many of you have expressed that the themes of this exhibition and the hard work of the curator, artists, team, and partners at ICI deserve to be shared with as many people as possible. So, starting today, you are invited to visit States of Becoming free of payment and can also choose to make a donation to The Africa Center upon entry. We are delighted that this gift can help lower any barrier to entry for seeing and sharing this exhibition. We also hope that you’ll visit and spread the good news with your family, friends, and community. You can book your tickets and learn more here.
This year we hosted 24 programs that reflected our interdisciplinary mission. Virtual and in-person programs ranged from an Africa focused climate series in partnership with Energy Growth Hub, to a collaboration with Dine Diaspora for a conversation with Black women on the business of food. We launched Dr. Boukary Sawadogo’s book Africans in Harlem: An Untold New York Story and partnered with MoMA for a conversation on Ivorian artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabré. In partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and the Africa CDC, we held a high-level discussion alongside the United Nations General Assembly on Advancing Africa’s New Public Health Order: The Role of Respectful and Action Oriented Partnerships. We also worked with 8B Education Investments on a program that focused on the responses to African students displaced by the war in Ukraine. You can watch replays of select programs and read more here.
As we look towards 2023, our team intends to dive deeper into what it means for The Africa Center to be at the axis of conversations and collective impact on the present and future of the continent. Each year, we’ve built upon our efforts, and reflected on the ways we are staying true to our mission. Though our work behind the scenes may not always be immediately visible, we can assure you that every day we’re moving closer towards being an institution that serves African people, the African Diaspora, and the world in the most meaningful ways. Our progress thus far is largely due to your continued support. So on behalf of our team at The Africa Center, thank you.
Lastly, we must acknowledge and congratulate the Ghanaian, Senegalese, Cameroonian, and Tunisian teams who made it to this year’s World Cup; and extend a congratulations to the Moroccan Atlas Lions for defeating Portugal to be the first African team to qualify for the semi-finals! Good luck and we look forward to today’s match.
As the year ends we wish you and your loved ones the very best this holiday season. We hope to see you at The Africa Center soon.
Uzodinma Iweala, M.D.
Chief Executive Officer, The Africa Center