After being shuttered for over eighteen months, San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) — one of the country's largest contemporary art museums that celebrate Black cultures — is set to reopen Thursday, October 21, debuting a "refreshed" gallery space and a new lineup of exhibits.

Signs that San Francisco is, at long last, coming out of the pandemic are all around the city. (Well... maybe just turn a blind eye to office space vacancy rates and downtown's still anemic foot traffic.) Among those indications include seeing our cultural centers and zoological institutions open to doting crowds. And that's exactly what MoAD will see on Thursday when the beloved local museum welcomes guests inside for the first time in over eighteen months.

“The past year and a half has been extremely difficult for many, especially the Black community,” says Monetta White, the Executive Director of MoAD, in a press release. “We are pleased to welcome our valued supporters and visitors back into our space this fall. MoAD is the center for contemporary Black art and culture, bringing people together through a shared experience of art, and I could not be more excited to reopen with this line-up of incredible artists representing the African Diaspora."

During the pandemic, MoAD was able to keep alive through various donation streams, including an online auction event that raised needed funds to safeguard the museum’s post-pandemic future. Staff was tireless at maintaining an online archive throughout this time, despite the ambiguities about the museum’s continued existence.

"I am also extremely proud of our staff and trustees who have worked hard and weathered the storm with us," White continues. "Now, more than ever, MoAD is essential to sustaining and growing the thriving community of Black artists.”

Two of MoAD's exhibits that were originally set to open in 2020 — David Huffma's Terra Incognita and Mary Lovelace O’Neal's Whales Fucking — will, instead, open in the latter half of 2022. Amoako Boafo's Soul of Black Folks (among some other exhibits) will run into next year as well, allowing museum-goers to gawk over his over twenty works that center around "Black subjectivity, Black joy, and the Black gaze."

Oh: And MoAD's film exhibit, Beyond the Sky, remains a must-watch to understand the cultural complexities and creative connections that exist between countries that make up the African Diaspora.

For more information on MoAD, including how to purchase tickets in advance of Thursday's reopening, visit; a full list of the museum’s current and upcoming exhibits can be found here; museum-goers need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test issued within the last 72 hours.

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Photo: Courtesy Twitter via @MoADsf