Photo credit: Lee Bey Architectural Photography

Photo credit: Lee Bey Architectural Photography

Message from Executive Director Peter J. Kim


May 22, 2019

Dear friends,

I have exciting news to share.

MOFAD has won the rights to take possession of the historic Ebony Magazine Test Kitchen. This technicolor wonder, described by The Chicago Tribune as “the most distinctive test kitchen ever created,” is nothing short of a national treasure.

With this development, we are now seeking lead funding to create our next exhibition, African/American: Making the Nation’s Table, which will feature the kitchen as its centerpiece. In the words of the renowned Dr. Jessica B. Harris, MOFAD’s lead curator for African/American:

We seek to create the country’s first major exhibition to recognize how African Americans have laid the foundation for American food culture. We will celebrate the contributions of countless black chefs, farmers, and food and drink producers who have been written out of history — providing recognition that is long overdue.

The Ebony Kitchen is a perfect embodiment of this exhibition’s story. It would not be hyperbole to say that it had a large part in forming the aspirations of more than two generations of African Americans. It is difficult to overstate its importance.

Thanks to generous seed funding from The City of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Brook Smith, Questlove, and The Sye Fund, we have been developing the exhibition concept for African/American since December 2017. A few months ago, we learned that Landmarks Illinois was seeking a new home for the Ebony Kitchen after having saved it from demolition. We submitted a proposal and are deeply honored to have been selected.

You are members of our beloved community, which is why we seek your counsel at this early stage. Please take a moment to consider if there are individuals, companies, and foundations you believe would be interested in discussing a leadership gift with us. If you have any leads, please contact us at development@mofad.org.

On behalf of the MOFAD team, thank you so much, as always, for your ongoing dedication to our mission. We look forward to working together to bring national attention to such a deeply important story.

With gratitude,

Peter J. Kim
Executive Director, MOFAD

 
 
Executive Director Peter J. Kim and African/American Lead Curator Dr. Jessica B. Harris announce the news of MOFAD’s possession of the  Ebony  Test Kitchen at the MOFAD Spring Gala Honoring Questlove on May 15, 2019. Photo credit: Noemie Marguerite.

Executive Director Peter J. Kim and African/American Lead Curator Dr. Jessica B. Harris announce the news of MOFAD’s possession of the Ebony Test Kitchen at the MOFAD Spring Gala Honoring Questlove on May 15, 2019. Photo credit: Noemie Marguerite.