Smithsonian African Art Awards Dinner Honors Contemporary African Artists

November 2, 2016 § Leave a comment

The Smithsonian’s historic Arts and Industries building in SW Washington, DC was the venue for the first Annual African Art Awards Dinner on Friday October 28, hosted by the National Museum of African Art. Museum director Johnetta Betsch Cole launched the fundraising dinner as a way to honor established and up-and-coming artists, and also to show gratitude to major philanthropic organizations that have supported the museum and its mission.

Yinka Shonibare, MBE giving remarks after receiving his award

Yinka Shonibare, MBE giving remarks after receiving his award

The 2016 awardees are Kenyan born artist Ato Malinda and Nigerian-British Yinka Shonibare, MBE, one of the most important contemporary artists in the field today. The Ford Foundation was also honored for philanthropy. The event was emceed by CNN International anchor/presenter Isha Sesay, and the menu for the dinner itself was designed by Marcus Samuelsson, celebrity chef and owner of Harlem’s

Marcus Samuelsson, celebrity chef and owner of Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, NY

Marcus Samuelsson, celebrity chef and owner of Red Rooster restaurant in Harlem, NY

Red Rooster Restaurant. Afrofusion TV got an opportunity to chat – rather briefly – with Ato Malinda and Yinka Shonibare, MBE about identity, representation, being honored by the Smithsonian, and the direction and future of what we call African Art. We put together a short highlight video featuring the artists and the event. Hopefully we will get another opportunity to talk some more with Ato and Yinka about their incredible art, but in the meantime, check out afrofusiontv.com for the full video, up soon, and look for our segment on African Art coming soon on our website. By the way, you can still support the museum, even if you couldn’t attend the dinner. There are many ways to support, and you can find more information on their website here. Bless…

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