Message from Executive Director Peter J. Kim
May 22, 2019
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Peter J. Kim
Executive Director, MOFAD
Read the full Landmarks Illinois press release here.