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The first major exhibition celebrating African American contributions to American cuisine. You can still support by clicking below.
The first major exhibition celebrating African American contributions to American cuisine. You can still support by clicking below.
782 backers pledged $156,405 to help bring this project to life.
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African/American: Making the Nation's Table

$156,405

782

 Help us create the country's first major exhibition celebrating the countless Black chefs, farmers, and food and drink producers who have laid the foundation for American food culture. 

African/American: Making the Nation's Table will be a feast for all senses, with stunning artifacts, celebratory music curated by Questlove, tastings by Carla Hall and others, and a restoration of the historic Ebony Magazine Test Kitchen.

We plan to open the exhibition in February 2020 at The Africa Center, located at the intersection of Central Park and East Harlem in New York City. After that, we will tour the exhibition nationally. 

Join the campaign and help us give long overdue recognition to those who have shaped our national culinary landscape.

Clockwise from top: a rendering of the Legacy Quilt; the Ebony Magazine Test Kitchen in its heyday; the kitchen at MOFAD's gallery space in Brooklyn, where it is being restored.

 Exhibition Highlights 

  •  The Legacy Quilt. This massive 30-foot-long quilt will be composed of 400 handcrafted blocks. Each one will tell the story of one African American luminary, such as Edna Lewis (farm-to-table pioneer), Chef James Hemings (introduced French cuisine to America), Frederick McKinley Jones (made the modern supermarket possible), and Leah Chase (Creole culinary icon).
  •  Ebony Magazine Test Kitchen. Described by The Chicago Tribune as “the most distinctive test kitchen ever created," this space was a touchstone for African American food culture for decades. For the first time ever, visitors will get to walk through and interact with this historic space while listening to a soundtrack of '70s music curated by Questlove.
  •  Guided Tasting. Visitors will gather around a table to break bread, share stories, and make new connections. We will offer tastings developed by Chef Carla Hall and an all-star lineup of chefs.
Clockwise from top left: A/A magnet, Anson Mills rice, Ebony apron, and Legacy Quilt block.

Rewards Guide

  •  Advance Access to Tickets ($10+): Access tickets to African/American before they are made available to the public. 
  •  Digital Recognition ($25+): Be featured on a list of backers on the African/American exhibition website.
  •  A/A Magnet ($25+, pictured above): Receive a stylish magnet with the proud statement, "African American food is American food." 
  •  Friends & Family Ticket ($50+): We'll open African/American for one week exclusively for Kickstarter backers. See the exhibition before anyone else does! Estimated dates of Friends & Family week are 2/28/20 to 3/6/20. Dates may change. 
  •  Exhibit in a Box ($200+): Receive a curated box containing Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice and Field Peas along with recipes and interpretation to create an educational tasting at home.
  •  Adopt a Quilt Block ($400+, pictured above): Bring to life one block on the Legacy Quilt, enabling us to recognize one major African American culinary innovator. We'll identify you as the adopter in the Legacy Quilt content, as well as on a donor wall in the exhibition. You'll receive a beautiful print of your adopted block and upgraded tastings when you come visit the exhibition. Quilt blocks will be assigned by MOFAD. 
  •  Ebony Apron ($800+, pictured above): Receive an Ebony Test Kitchen limited-edition apron produced by Tilit. You won't find this anywhere else. Actual design may vary. 
  •  Collection of 3 Signed Books ($1,500+): Receive signed copies of three landmark books. We'll send you "High on the Hog" by Dr. Jessica B. Harris, "Jubilee" by Toni Tipton-Martin, and "The Cooking Gene" by Michael Twitty.
  •  Handcrafted Quilt Block ($3,000+): Receive a handcrafted Legacy Quilt block made by Harlem Needle Arts. Aside from the quilt block featured in African/American, this will be the only one in existence. 
  •  Curator-Led Tour ($5,000+): You and your guests will tour African/American with a senior MOFAD curator. Discover hidden stories and learn about the process behind creating the exhibition.
  •  Invitation to VIP Premiere and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony ($10,000+): Only a select few will receive invitations to the star-studded VIP Premiere of African American. Join Lead Curator Dr. Jessica B. Harris, MOFAD leadership, and our exhibition advisors for an unforgettable evening. You'll also be invited to the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony the following morning. Estimated dates are 2/27/20 and 2/28/20. Dates may change. 

About the Lead Curator 

Dr. Jessica B. Harris, the Lead Curator for African/American, is widely considered the world's pre-eminent expert on the foods of the African diaspora. Dr. Harris is the author of 12 critically acclaimed books and was recently inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Hall of Fame.

Following a 50-year teaching career at CUNY Queens College, and building on over four decades of work as a journalist and author, African/American is a natural extension of Dr. Harris's life's work. As Dr. Scott Barton writes, "Dr. Jessica B. Harris has championed the heretofore invisible African-American/African culinarians, rendering them visible and in plain sight."

 About MOFAD  

MOFAD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit centered around the belief that food is culture. As the most universal aspect of human existence, it is a powerful lens for understanding each other and the world around us. We are a new kind of museum that uses this power to create cultural change toward a more thoughtful, caring, and delicious future.

We currently operate MOFAD Lab, an experimental gallery in Brooklyn. We have earned accolades for our multisensory exhibitions, including BOOM! The Puffing Gun and the Rise of Cereal, Flavor: Making It and Faking It, and Chow: Making the Chinese American Restaurant.

Our long-term goal is to open a large-scale museum where visitors will be able to taste their way around the world and through time, learning about the people and processes behind what we eat and drink. 

 African/American Advisory Committee 

  • Dr. Scott Barton: food historian and professor
  • Gustave Blache III: artist and visual biographer of Leah Chase
  • Adrienne Cheatham: chef and star of Top Chef 
  • BJ Dennis: chef and cultural activist
  • Carla Hall: chef, author, and television personality
  • Tanya Holland: author and chef/owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen
  • Tonya Hopkins: co-founder of James Hemings Society
  • Edouardo Jordan: James Beard Award-winning chef
  • Charlotte Lyons: former Food Editor of Ebony 
  • André Mack: owner of Maison Noir wines
  • Adrian Miller: James Beard Award-winning author of Soul Food: The Surprising Story of American Cuisine 
  • Thérèse Nelson: founder of Black Culinary History 
  • Kwame Onwuachi: James Beard Award-winning chef
  • Questlove: co-founder of The Roots, author, and entrepreneur
  • Matthew Raiford: chef and farmer at Gilliard Farms
  • Glenn Roberts: founder of Anson Mills and president of the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation
  • Marcus Samuelsson: television personality and restaurateur
  • Michael Skolnik: board member of the Trayvon Martin Foundation
  • Alexander Smalls: James Beard Award-winning co-author of Between Harlem and Heaven 
  • Omar Tate: creator of the Honeysuckle dinner series
  • Nicole Taylor: author of the Up South Cookbook 
  • Pierre Thiam: chef, educator, and author of Senegal 
  • Toni Tipton-Martin: author of The Jemima Code and Jubilee 
  • Michael Twitty: James Beard Award-winning author of The Cooking Gene 
  • Colleen Vincent: Director of Culinary Community Initiatives at the James Beard Foundation
  • Jarobi White: founding member of A Tribe Called Quest
  • Dr. Psyche Williams-Forson: author of Building Houses Out of Chicken Legs: Black Women, Food, & Power and Chair of Department of American Studies at University of Maryland College Park
     

Press 

The Chicago Tribune: "Ebony's test kitchen finally has a new home."

The New York Times: "An exhibition that is not just hands-on, but tongue-on and nostrils-on."

Fast Company: "MOFAD’s 'Chow' exhibition tells the Chinese-American immigrant story through food."

Risks and challenges

We take our mission and our work very seriously. However, as with any complex project, we may hit unforeseen obstacles.

Having run two successful Kickstarter campaigns already, we have our contingency plans in place. We have identified all of our vendors and will be ready to place orders once the campaign reaches its goal. However, there may be delays in fulfillment if we do not receive items on time.

While there are some things outside of our control, we will keep all of our backers updated on the project status. Thank you again for your support.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    Friend

    Receive our eternal gratitude and the pride of helping to fund this long-overdue exhibition.

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    19 backers
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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Supporter

    Show your support and access tickets before they are made available to the public.

    Includes:
    • Advance Access to Tickets
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    82 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    A/A Magnet + Digital Recognition

    Receive a stylish magnet with the proud statement, "African American food is American food." We'll also recognize you as a supporter on the exhibition website.

    Includes:
    • Advance Access to Tickets
    • Digital Recognition
    • A/A Magnet
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    166 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Friends & Family Ticket

    See African/American before it opens to the public! You'll receive one ticket to visit during Friends & Family Week. The ticket comes with a guided tasting. (Estimated dates are 2/28/20 to 3/6/20. Dates may change.)

    Includes:
    • Advance Access to Tickets
    • Digital Recognition
    • A/A Magnet
    • Ticket to Friends & Family Week + Tasting
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    125 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Friends & Family Duo

    Bring a friend and share the experience! You'll receive two tickets to visit the exhibition during Friends & Family Week. The tickets come with guided tastings. (Estimated dates are 2/28/20 to 3/6/20. Dates may change.)

    Includes:
    • Advance Access to Tickets
    • Digital Recognition
    • A/A Magnet
    • Ticket to Friends & Family Week + Tasting
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    182 backers
    $

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    Exhibit in a Box

    We'll send you a special Exhibit in a Box with two Anson Mills heritage grains along with recipes and interpretation to create an educational tasting at home.

    Includes:
    • Advance Access to Tickets
    • Digital Recognition
    • A/A Magnet
    • Ticket to Friends & Family Week + Tasting
    • Exhibit in a Box with Anson Mills Grains
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    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    45 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 400 or more About US$ 400

    Adopt a Quilt Block

    Adopt one Legacy Quilt block and help recognize one African American culinary innovator. We'll identify you as the adopter in the Legacy Quilt content, as well as on a donor wall. Receive a beautiful print of your adopted block and upgraded tastings. (Quilt blocks will be assigned by MOFAD.)

    Includes:
    • Advance Access to Tickets
    • Digital Recognition
    • A/A Magnet
    • Ticket to Friends & Family Week + Premium Tasting
    • Exhibit in a Box with Anson Mills Grains
    • Quilt Block Adoption
    • Recognition on Donor Wall
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 40 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 800 or more About US$ 800

    Ebony Apron

    Receive an Ebony Test Kitchen limited-edition apron produced by Tilit. You won't find this anywhere else.

    Includes:
    • Advance Access to Tickets
    • Digital Recognition
    • A/A Magnet
    • Ticket to Friends & Family Week + Premium Tasting
    • Exhibit in a Box with Anson Mills Grains
    • Quilt Block Adoption
    • Recognition on Donor Wall
    • Ebony Magazine Kitchen Apron
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 15 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    Signed Book Collection

    Receive signed copies of three essential books : "High on the Hog" by Jessica B. Harris, "The Cooking Gene" by Michael W. Twitty, and "Jubilee" by Toni Tipton-Martin.

    Includes:
    • Advance Access to Tickets
    • Digital Recognition
    • A/A Magnet
    • Ticket to Friends & Family Week + Premium Tasting
    • Exhibit in a Box with Anson Mills Grains
    • Quilt Block Adoption
    • Recognition on Donor Wall
    • Ebony Magazine Kitchen Apron
    • Collection of 3 Signed Books
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 7 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Handcrafted Quilt Block

    Receive a handcrafted Legacy Quilt block made by Harlem Needle Arts. Aside from the quilt block featured in African/American, this will be the only one in existence.

    Includes:
    • Advance Access to Tickets
    • Digital Recognition
    • A/A Magnet
    • Ticket to Friends & Family Week + Premium Tasting
    • Exhibit in a Box with Anson Mills Grains
    • Quilt Block Adoption
    • Recognition on Donor Wall
    • Ebony Magazine Kitchen Apron
    • Collection of 3 Signed Books
    • Handcrafted Quilt Block
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Private Curator-Led Tour

    You and five guests will tour African/American with a senior MOFAD curator. Discover hidden stories and learn about the process behind creating the exhibition.

    Includes:
    • Advance Access to Tickets
    • Digital Recognition
    • A/A Magnet
    • Ticket to Friends & Family Week + Premium Tasting
    • Exhibit in a Box with Anson Mills Grains
    • Quilt Block Adoption
    • Recognition on Donor Wall
    • Ebony Magazine Kitchen Apron
    • Handcrafted Quilt Block
    • Collection of 3 Signed Books
    • Guided Tour with Curator
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    Invitation to VIP Premiere + Ceremony

    Receive two invitations to the star-studded VIP Premiere of African/American. You will also be invited to the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony the following morning. (Estimated dates are 2/27/20 and 2/28/20. Dates may change.)

    Includes:
    • Advance Access to Tickets
    • Digital Recognition
    • A/A Magnet
    • 10× Ticket to Friends & Family Week + Premium Tasting
    • Exhibit in a Box with Anson Mills Grains
    • Quilt Block Adoption
    • Recognition on Donor Wall
    • Ebony Magazine Kitchen Apron
    • Collection of 3 Signed Books
    • Handcrafted Quilt Block
    • Guided Tour with Curator
    • Invitation to VIP Premiere
    • Invitation to Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 3 backers
    $

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (21 days)