The Cultural Museum of African Art (CMAA) – The Eric Edwards Collection received $1 million from the New York State Assembly, thanks to the leadership of NYS Assemblymember, Stefani Zinerman, and NYS Assembly Speaker, Carl Heastie.
Founded and Curated by Mr. Eric Edwards over the course of 50 years, CMAA has amassed more than 3,000 African Artifacts, from all 54 countries on the African continent, spanning more than 4,000 years of human history. It is the most comprehensive collection of African Artifacts. BSRC will serve as home to CMAA’s “Survival Exhibition” which will feature approximately 220 artifacts, jointly curated by Eric Edwards and the multidisciplinary artist, Sanford Biggers, whose work was installed at Oracle, Rockefeller Center, 2021 was also inspired by artifacts from the Eric Edwards Collection.
The Restoration Plaza museum location is being designed by world-renowned architect Rodney Leon. Mr. Leon is the architect of the African Burial Ground National Monument (ABG) in Lower Manhattan, as well as the “Ark of Return,” a permanent installation at the United Nations Plaza.
“This grant makes it possible for me to gift this collection of African artifacts, which has taken me 50 years to amass, to my community. The collection illuminates our stories and journeys over thousands of years to the beginnings of man and womankind.” – Eric Edwards, Founder & Executive Director, Cultural Museum of African Art
“The 56th District represents the historic neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights. We are honored to assist in this first step to bring the rich truth of our culture, accessible to the largest concentration of the African diaspora in New York.” – Stefani L. Zinerman, New York State Assembly
“The preservation of history, specifically African American history, has oftentimes been overlooked. Investments like these ensure that African art and its rich history can be studied and enjoyed by future generations. I am honored to have worked with Assemblywoman Zinerman to make this grant available to the Cultural Museum of African Art (CMAA), and would like to thank CMAA for their efforts in keeping our legacy alive.” – Carl E. Heastie, New York State Assembly Speaker
ABOUT THE GRANT: NYS Assemblymember, Stefani L. Zinerman was elected to the 56th District in the New York State Assembly on November 3, 2020, to represent the historic neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights in Brooklyn, NY. Zinerman is on the Standing Committee on Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development and is the Co-Supporter of $1MM State Assembly Allocation to CMAA for its move to Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, with longtime CMAA Supporter NYS Assembly Speaker, Carl Heastie. CMAA’s Eric Edwards addressed the NYS Assembly requesting support at the end of 2019: 12-12-19 Public Hearing on Capital Funding for Arts and Culture.