Concerned about making ends meet in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, MoAD had announced drastic cost-saving measures in March. An outpouring of support soon followed for the fate of this foundational platform for artists of African descent in the Bay Area and beyond. Artists, donors, gallerists, collectors, and individuals banded together in support of the Museum, and the idea for an auction, the first ever attempted by MoAD, was born.
Thirty-four artists, many with close ties to the Museum, rallied to donate work. Diaspora Unite! featured a who’s who of Black creativity, with work by Wesaam Al-Badry, Tiffany Alfonseca, American Artist, Amoako Boafo, Kwame Brathwaite, Dominic Chambers, Andrea Chung, William Cordova, Dewey Crumpler, Jerrell Gibbs, Todd Gray, February James, Clotilde Jiménez, Whitfield Lovell, Wangari Mathenge, Manuel Mathieu, Adia Millett, Cassi Namoda, Rashaad Newsome, Ludovic Nkoth, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Enrico Riley, Ferrari Sheppard, Alexandria Smith, Lava Thomas, Peter Uka, Raelis Vasquez, Didier William, Purvis Young, David “Mr. StarCity” White, Collins Obijiaku, Joshua Michael, Gavin Benjamin, and Lewis Watts.
Gallerists and collectors from across the nation made an incredible effort to assist and support the event including Mariane Ibrahim Gallery, Roberts Projects, Goodman Gallery, James Fuentes, Traywick Contemporary, Klowden Mann, Philip Martin Gallery, Jenkins Johnson Gallery, Rena Bransten Gallery, Sikkema Jenkins, David Lewis Gallery, Kavi Gupta Gallery, Koenig & Clinton,and iv Gallery, along with collectors Arthur Lewis, Hau Nguyen, Ron Casentini, and Destinee Ross.
During the two weeks, April 21-May 5, that Diaspora Unite! ran on the art sales platform Artsy, bids were brisk and generous. Many of the works sold for well above the starting price.