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Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Receives $5 Million Endowment

NORTH MIAMI, FL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami announced that it has received a $5 million endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Knight Exhibition Endowment was announced by Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen and will enable MOCA to present three exhibitions or multi-media projects each year featuring the work of emerging and experimental artists, as well as develop innovative public and education programs. The endowment will fund MOCA’s new Knight Exhibition Series. The endowment is part of the new Knight Arts Partnership, a $60 million philanthropic initiative created by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to advance the arts in South Florida through three institutional endowments and an open-invitation community challenge.

When Knight Foundation asked MOCA what would bring the museum and Miami’s cultural community to the tipping point, the museum’s response was an endowment to ensure the growth and longevity of its core mission to present the most compelling international and local contemporary art with an emphasis on new experimental and multi-media work.

Bonnie Clearwater, MOCA Executive Director and Chief Curator said, “The Knight Arts Partnership will greatly help MOCA fulfill its core mission to present new and multi-media work by local and international emerging and experimental artists to a diverse audience, making it one of the few contemporary art museums in the nation to have a substantial dedicated Through exhibitions and educational initiatives, the Knight Exhibition Series will foster a receptive environment where innovation and creativity will thrive.”

MOCA Chairman Irma Braman stated, “Knight Foundation’s major donation to MOCA is a resounding endorsement of the museum and its mission, leadership, and financial viability. The endowment provides fiscal stability that ensures its growth and longevity.”

The Knight Foundation Endowment makes MOCA one of the few contemporary art museums in the nation to have a dedicated source of funding of this nature. This extraordinary support helps position MOCA as a leading institution for fostering innovative work and an appealing collaborator with local and international institutions. MOCA’s growing reputation elevates Miami’s world presence as an international art center.

MOCA is the only major arts institution in the culturally and economically diverse area of North Miami-Dade, one of the fastest growing regions in the county. It has been successful in its dual roles as an international museum of contemporary art that also serves its immediate community. As the anchor of North Miami’s Downtown, the museum plays a key role in its development as an arts and entertainment corridor.

MOCA has a successful history of collaborating with other arts and cultural institutions in Miami, and the endowment will enable it to further develop these relationships and foster multi-disciplinary projects, which will encourage a strong audience for all the arts.

The endowment coincides with MOCA’s groundbreaking partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools in the development of three museum and communication studies magnet schools that use object-based learning curriculum in North Miami. Through this partnership, MOCA will educate over 7,000 students annually on a regular basis with the aim to increase academic excellence and expose students to exciting academic and career paths.

The endowment will expose these and other students to innovative and experimental art and provide them with exceptional opportunities to meet and interact with visiting artists, curators, and critics.

With this endowment, MOCA can go forward with its planned expansion of its Joan Lehman Building knowing that it has dedicated funds to perpetuate its core mission of presenting innovative and experimental exhibitions. The expansion, to be designed by renowned architect Charles Gwathmey, will triple MOCA’s current exhibition space in North Miami, provide the public with ongoing access to its permanent collection, and will include an education wing and expanded space to present concurrent exhibitions and public programs.

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