MOCA Board Reportedly Leaving North Miami to Form New Art Museum in Design District

After a lengthy dispute with its home city of North Miami, the board of the Museum of Contemporary Art has reportedly left the space and will launch a new art museum in the Design District.

The board, along with staff including wunderkind interim curator Alex Gartenfeld, moved out of the MOCA building in North Miami today, promising in a statement to open the Institute of Contemporary Art in temporary form at the Moore Building, according to the Miami Herald. MOCA's website confirms that the new facility will open in November.

See also: MOCA Allegedly Reaches Agreement With North Miami: M'Bow Stays, Trustees to Leave With Artworks

MOCA and the city of North Miami have been in negotiations over their split since June. That month, a source inside those negotiations predicted Gartenfeld would depart the North Miami museum along with the board. The source also told New Times that an agreement had been reached for the board to take 150 works of art from the MOCA collection when it splits from the city.

But no terms of agreement have yet been officially announced by either MOCA or North Miami. It remains unclear exactly which works of art, and how many of them, may leave MOCA for the new Institute of Contemporary Art.

New Times' source also alleged that the North Miami museum would keep the name "Museum of Contemporary Art," and that a new board will be created to oversee that facility.

The statement from board co-chairs co-chairs Irma Braman and Ray Ellen Yarkin stresses that the Moore Building location, which according to the Herald is being provided to the group rent-free by developer Craig Robbins' Miami Design District Associates, is a temporary one:

The Board sought an on-site expansion at our former home in North Miami for more than a decade, as the demands of our collection, program, and audiences grew and our museum gained international acclaim. The Moore Building has a rich history of presenting cultural events and contemporary art, and our interim facility allows us to continue serving our audiences throughout Miami-Dade County and beyond as we plan for a permanent location.

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Ciara LaVelle is New Times' former arts and culture editor. She earned her BS in journalism at Boston University and moved to Florida in 2004. She joined New Times' staff in 2011.
Contact: Ciara LaVelle