The MoCADA Museum’s Masquerade Ball drew A-list celebrities and art lovers together for a cause in Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Lapercq Ballroom.
Maxwell, Estelle, Fab Five Freddy, Lion Babe and Justine Skye were some of the presenters, attendees and honorees at the 2nd annual event. (Rosario Dawson was slated to be honored but didn’t make it to the gala.)
The guests were dressed to the nines in gowns, suits and of course their masks. But while the attire was fancy, the vibe was chill.
Maxwell and Estelle were the first on the stage to present an award to the Rockefeller Foundation. But before that, Maxwell asked for a moment of silence for the late Prince who he called “the greatest amazing living artist and now in heaven artist.” Fab Five Freddy also shared a few personal notes before presenting an award. “I used to cut school to go to museums and wanted to be an artist. I thought the things that we were doing on the train – some of us – was art,” he said.
MoCADA, which is the brainchild of Brooklyn council member, Laurie Cumbo, was celebrating sixteen years of highlighting and celebrating African arts — something Cumbo says is “the most revolutionary” to do for the continuously gentrifying borough.
The Brooklyn politician also made a few hilarious hip-hop references. After noting that the MoCADA is gaining a permanent building after bouncing around several other spaces it was only right to allude to Drake’s hit song (“started from the bottom now we’re here.”) While Cumbo closed out her speech, she said that when you see her name in the papers “put some respeck on my name.”
“more handsome Swizz Beatz brother right now.”
Attendees were also able to place a silent bid for some items including a signed helmets from NFL players, Eli Manning and Darrelle Revis, and custom designed shoes from Nigerian artist, Laolu, who says “everything is my canvas.”
After all the speeches DJ Moma and Rich Knight continued to spin a mix of Afrobeats and pop hits including Beyonce’s “Formation,” Rihanna’s “Work” and of course some Prince. (In this case it was his 1986 hit “Kiss.”) Laolu also painted a few bodies around the gala.
Overall, it was pure black excellence. And at the end, each guest received a gift bag with Carol’s Daughter’s Hair Milk, a year subscription to Black Enterprise and hot sauce, swag. Check out the photos from the event above.