The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco has named Monetta White as its next executive director. Previously a board member of the museum, White has served as interim director since August and has been involved with MoAD since its opening in the city’s Yerba Buena arts district in 2005. A well-known civic leader and restaurateur in the Bay Area, White has served as managing partner of 1300 on Fillmore, which she opened with her husband, chef David Lawrence, in 2007 to help revive the neighborhood she grew up in through food and music.
According to the MoAD, White helped the museum take significant steps toward financial sustainability since she became acting director, securing multiyear gifts and overseeing this year’s Afropolitan Ball, which raised $1.5 million. White also worked with the curatorial team to establish a new studio residency program in partnership with San Francisco Art Institute and forged partnerships with the San Francisco and Oakland Unified School Districts as well as with the African American Arts and Cultural Complex—the organization’s executive directors, Melonie Green and Melorra Green, curated the exhibition “Don’t Shoot: An Opus of the Opulence of Blackness,” which opened at MoAD today and runs until March 1, 2020.
White is the sixth individual to take up the directorship of the museum since journalist Belva Davis took the job, before MoAD had a building. She succeeds Linda Harrison, who departed to join the Newwark Museum in New Jersey. “My passion is to sustain African American culture and the arts, motivating people to understand the critical need for it in our environment and for the future of our society,” said White. “MoAD is that rare place where the stories of the African Diaspora can be sustained, preserved, learned, and created anew. I want to ensure that MoAD thrives here in the Bay Area for the long term.”