North Miami / NMB

North Miami

City-appointed MOCA director making his own plans

The city-appointed, but not board-approved, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami is planning a symposium at the museum later this month that apparently will address some of the upheaval that has involved the institution recently.

In an email distributing information about the June 14 gathering, Babacar M’Bow identified himself as the museum's director and insisted the event will seek “to trace an intellectual itinerary taking into account instability, movement and the notion of ‘flux’ prevalent in transnational dynamics.” The event is to be held at the city-owned museum, 770 NE 125th St., from 4 - 8 p.m.

A spokesman for the MOCA board highlighted part of the management agreement between the city and museum board of trustees that says the board shall operate and manage museum programs and activities on the site.

In a statement, MOCA board co-chair and president Ray-Ellen Yarkin said neither M’Bow nor the city went through standard application requirements that everyone must follow when planning an event at the museum, even though the museum offered to facilitate the process.

“At this time, MOCA is unfortunately unable to participate in or organize the event,” she said in the statement. Board members have been in talks since late last year with the Bass Museum in Miami Beach to move the permanent collection there from North Miami.

The city appointed M’Bow as director, but the museum’s board — which filed a breach of contract lawsuit against North Miami in April — said it would not consider him because he did not submit information for a background check.

The two parties have been ordered to go through mediation.

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