What's New

651 ARTS and MoCADA join forces and announce Depelsha McGruder as new CEO

By 651 ARTS on March 15, 2018

March 15, 2018 - Brooklyn, NY - 651 ARTS and MoCADA (the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts) today announce that the two organizations are joining forces to create a new contemporary arts institution. As part of the evolving Brooklyn cultural district, this arts institution is committed to bringing first voice perspectives to the curation, support, presentation, production and resourcing of contemporary African Diasporan art, cultural expression, and social impact themes and will occupy 20,000 square feet at 300 Ashland Place.

“’If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ This African proverb captures the spirit of this alliance,” stated Kevin Johnson, current Board Member and former Board Chair (2007-2016) of MoCADA. “We are excited about the collective impact the joined organizations will bring to the local community and the world at large,” continued Andrea E. Smith, Board Chair of 651 ARTS. “By coming together, we will continue the legacy and draw upon the strength of these two landmark Brooklyn institutions while also embodying future, forward possibilities with new and shared resources.”

Depelsha McGruder

Depelsha McGruder has been named CEO of the arts institution. McGruder comes with more than 20 years executive experience. She is the Founder of Moms of Black Boys United, Inc. and MOBB United for Social Change, Inc. McGruder previously served as Senior Vice President of Programming for BET Networks and as Senior Vice President of Business Operations for CENTRIC, a cable television network for which she led the launch and rebranding as a network designed for Black women.

“Throughout my career, I have held a deep appreciation for the role and importance of art and artists in our society. I have been motivated by opportunities to create sustainable platforms for people of color to have our voices heard and our experiences documented,” said McGruder. “I look forward to working with the board to build a space that elevates and celebrates African Diasporan culture and its impact and influence on our community in Brooklyn and beyond.”

McGruder earned her BA from Howard University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition to BET Networks, she has held executive positions at MTV Networks and Accenture and began her career as a local TV journalist. McGruder also serves on the boards of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and The Billie Holiday Theater.

“We are delighted to have Depelsha at the helm. She has a superb record of leadership and service. Her vast experience in business development and strategy will be an invaluable asset in fulfilling the vision and mission of this organization,” said Randall L. Sawyer, Board Chair of MoCADA. “We also want to genuinely thank outgoing Executive Directors James Bartlett (MoCADA) and Shay Wafer (651 ARTS) for their outstanding contributions while at the helm of these organizations, their vision to collaborate and create a new future for the organizations and for their work during this transition.”

About 651 ARTS

651 ARTS, founded in Brooklyn in 1988, is committed to developing, producing and presenting performance and cultural programming from the African Diaspora, with a primary focus on contemporary performing arts. 651 ARTS serves the cultural life of New York City, with a particular focus on Brooklyn, one of America’s most culturally diverse communities.

About MoCADA

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), founded in Brooklyn in 1999, has a mission to use the visual arts as a point of departure for exploring new artistic production across a variety of disciplines. Through exhibitions and programming, MoCADA incites dialogue on pressing social and political issues facing the African Diaspora, and fosters a dynamic space for the creation and continuous evolution of culture.

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Visit us at http://www.mocada.org/ + http://www.651arts.org/.

For more information contact:
JOY Collective
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6-5-1: Gesel Mason

By 651 ARTS on March 02, 2018

6-5-1: An interview with Gesel Mason, visionary/choreographer of No Boundaries: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers.

A Student Perspective on What is #BlackArtNOW?​​

By 651 ARTS on January 31, 2018

BlackArtNOW is a place where any Black artist can come spread their culture through their creations while also uplifting other forms of art.

Black Joy Meets #BlackArtNOW

By 651 ARTS on December 13, 2017

...Black art is not only a record of our existence, it is a space of reckoning with it as well. It is an opportunity to make sense of where we have come, where we are and where we can be.

A #BlackArtNow Manifesto

By 651 ARTS on November 28, 2017

....because blackness is fly. because black people are fly. and fly begets swag. and swag begets beats. and beats beget a tremor in a community. and the community fuels art. and the art feeds the community. and what a lovely necessary cycle of being.

6-5-1: Anisia Uzeyman

By 651 ARTS on October 23, 2017

6-5-1: An interview with Anisia Uzeyman, one of the filmmakers of DREAMSTATES.

6-5-1: Olivier Tarpaga

By 651 ARTS on October 02, 2017

6-5-1: An interview with Olivier Tarpaga, choreographer of Declassified Memory Fragment.

Putting Us Back Together Again: Home & Reparations

By 651 ARTS on May 15, 2017

DeeArah Wright, Co-Director of JACK and Home in the Time of Brooklyn artist, writes a guest blog about reparations—defining creative, accountable, and healing homes for our full selves while reflecting on what we cling to, what we let go, and how we move forward.

Cultural Plan Analysis from Anthony Rosado

By 651 ARTS on April 17, 2017

Anthony Rosado analyzes the NYC Cultural Plan in an effort to “preserve the rich, vibrant culture of our city that our ancestors gardened.”

Reflecting on “The Great Migration” and Making Home

By 651 ARTS on March 22, 2017

Jessica Lynne and DéLana R.A. Dameron reflect on ways they make a home, creatively, wherever they are.

6-5-1: Sydnie L. Mosley and André Zachery

By 651 ARTS on February 27, 2017

6-5-1: An interview with New Media & Arts Fellowship facilitators Sydnie L. Mosley and André Zachery.

6-5-1: Okwui Okpokwasili and Maria Bauman

By 651 ARTS on January 25, 2017

6-5-1: An interview with Home in the Time of Brooklyn facilitators Okwui Okpokwasili and Maria Bauman.

Tunu Thom on Home

By 651 ARTS on December 27, 2016

A Home in the Time of Brooklyn participant reflects on Home.

6-5-1: Nora Chipaumire and Shamar Watt

By 651 ARTS on September 28, 2016

6-5-1: An interview with choreographer Nora Chipaumire and performer Shamar Watt.

6-5-1: Crystal Boyd

By 651 ARTS on April 05, 2016

6-5-1: An interview with 651 ARTS Program Manager Crystal Boyd.

What's New?

651 ARTS and MoCADA join forces and announce Depelsha McGruder as new CEO

651 ARTS and MoCADA (the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts) announce that the two organizations are joining forces to create a new contemporary arts institution.

6-5-1: Gesel Mason

6-5-1: An interview with Gesel Mason, visionary/choreographer of No Boundaries: Dancing the Visions of Contemporary Black Choreographers.

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