The New Africa Center Delays Opening Due to Lack of Funds
The New Africa Center, formerly known as Museum for African Art is temporarily closed in preparation for its move to Manhattan. Its former homes included Manhattan and the neighborhood of Long Island City in the borough of Queens in New York City, United States. Founded in 1984, the museum is "dedicated to increasing public understanding and appreciation of African art and culture." The Museum is also well known for its public education programs that help raise awareness of African culture, and also operates a unique store selling authentic handmade African crafts.
The Museum has organized nearly 60 critically acclaimed exhibitions and traveled these to almost 140 venues nationally and internationally, including 15 other countries. Forty of these exhibitions are accompanied by scholarly catalogues.
After several years of delayed openings, and the realization that the initial goal of a museum on 5th Avenue was not sustainable, the decision was made to broaden the project's scope. 2015 is the current target for opening in the organization's new home on Museum Mile at the corner of Fifth Avenue and E. 110th Street in the borough of Manhattan, in the neighborhood of Harlem. The new location, in a building designed by architect Robert A.M. Stern, is the first museum building built on New York's Museum Mile since the completion of the Guggenheim in 1959. The museum's new home will allow it to present more than art, leading to its name change to the New Africa Center as of September 2013. It will present pop up events in its new space until the building is completed. It will serve as a cultural center and is currently modeling itself after Asia Society and other similar organizations. The new building will make the museum accessible to a wide range of people from the world over, thus solidifying the museum's presence as one of the most challenging and diverse art institutions in the U.S.
The new building will encompass approximately 90,000 square feet (8,400 m2) with 16,000 square feet (1,500 m2) of exhibition space, as well as a theater, education center, library, classrooms, event space, restaurant and gift shop. The growth into the cultural center has been spearheaded by, among others, Hadeel Ibrahim daughter of Mo Ibrahim.