The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCCADI) just reopened in a landmark building that was once a firehouse at the heart of East Harlem.
The Institute is an organization that, in the words of founder Dr. Marta Moreno Vega, was created “to make African descendants visible, part of history, and [make us] dynamic participants in the creative process of our existence, to make us visible and highlight our people’s brilliance since systemic racism has portrayed us in the deficit.”
Over the years, Vega has steered CCCADI toward a multi-pronged approach to showcasing the arts associated with people from the African diaspora: musical programs including salsa, jazz, and rap (including showing hip-hop artists for the first time in Lincoln Center); colloquia for practitioners of religious and organized spiritual practices; and presenting visual art, which has entailed collaborating with other nearby institutions such as the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
The inaugural exhibition, entitled Home, Memory, and Future, focuses on the crosscultural exchanges between African Diaspora communities in East and West Harlem since the turn of the 20th century.
[Sources: CCCADI, Hyperallergic and Artsy]