The Museum of Modern Art’s Black Arts Council has launched a multi-million-dollar endowment designed to support its vital work in funding acquisitions by Black artists, supporting educational programs on Black art and creating opportunities for Black professionals at MoMA. The art institution, which announced the news at the 2023 Black Arts Council Benefit in New York City to commemorate its 30th anniversary, also recognized and celebrated artists whose work the Council has supported for acquisition into the MoMA collection over its 30-year history. The sold-out event raised $500,000 to support the Council’s mission and initiatives of Black art, like the recent Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces installation.

Guests of the evening included artists Sandford Biggers and Willie Cole; Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem—the world’s leading institution devoted to visual art by artists of African descent; The Roots co-founder Black Thought and many more. The evening closed with a performance by Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Samara Joy and a special dessert experience by Camari Mick, executive pastry chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant, The Musket Room.

Founded in 1993 as The Friends of Education by Dr. Akosua Barthwell Evans, Agnes Gund and David Rockefeller Jr., The Black Arts Council supports MoMA's mission by centering Black perspectives on modern and contemporary art in its exhibitions and archives. Over the past 30 years, the Black Arts Council has advocated for a greater appreciation and understanding of the achievements of Black artists and worked with colleagues across the city to build intergenerational connections between museums and Black communities across the country and around the world.