MOCA is currently in the middle of a tug of war between the museum board and the city. At the center of the controversy are two directors, Babacar M'Bow and Alex Gartenfeld appointed to do the same job. The current situation at MOCA, is of profound interest because it will impact the Contemporary Art World in one way or the other -- why? Because a man of color is standing his ground for control of the Directorship of the Museum of Contemporary Art. This stance is forcing MOCA's Board of Trustees to answer for their actions. What was once reserved for the Board's discretion will now have to be publicly debated.
From the different articles we've read and the people we've talked with, this is what we can make out. The MOCA Board of Trustees claims that . . .
BEFORE WE COULD PUBLISH THIS ARTICLE THERE WAS A breaking story from the MIAMI NEW TIMES
According to the Miami New Times article -- the heated legal dispute between the Board of Trustees of North Miami"s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the City of North Miami over who controls the museum's collection and whether it will be relocated from its current home to Miami Beach's Bass Museum may have finally come to an end.
BABACAR M'BOW has been confirmed as the new Director of the MOCA
Speaking on condition of confidentiality, the source described the points allegedly agreed upon by MOCA board members and city officials. Among them is the confirmation of Babacar M'Bow as the museum director and the departure of 150 top works of art from MOCA's holdings along with its outgoing Board of Trustees.
THE DECISION WAS SWIFT AND ALL POINTS OF THE SETTLEMENT WERE IN THE FAVOR OF THE CITY OF NORTH MIAMI.
But this is not reflected in the headline of the Miami New Times article: MOCA Allegedly Reaches Agreement With North Miami: M'Bow Stays, Trustees to Leave With Artworks.
According to the source these are the settlement points in the agreement,
THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES FAILED TO DEFEND ANY OF THEIR ASSERTED CLAIMS. It has been interesting witnessing how the mainstream news sources reported this conflict. In the light of fairness, they, for the most part, reported the story from a cautious, neutral position. But built into that cautious, neutral position, is the underlining assumption that the Board of Trustee's case was the more meritorious of the two. The City of North Miami and Mr. Babacar M' Bow were assumed to be disenfranchised and somewhat radical.
BLACK ART IN AMERICA attended the symposium, sponsored by the Florida Africana Studies Consortium, “What Happens When Politics of Class and Culture Collide,” at the embattled Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). We were able to talk with BABACAR M' BOW before the decision was handed down. The interview is very telling of the timber of the man, Mr. M'BOW.
MEET BABCAR M'BOW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF MOCA
BLACK ART IN AMERICA has a candid interview with the embattled Director of MOCA and the Last Man Standing -- BABACAR M'BOW