Press Release


Welcoming Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s co-directors, Mellon Foundation awards MOCAD with their first time, multi-year operating grant of $300,000 to support contemporary arts in Detroit

FEBRUARY 14, 2024

Image (L to R): Artistic Director, Jova Lynne and Chief Operating Officer Marie Patton on the steps of Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead. Photo by Clare Gatto

(Detroit, Michigan – February 14, 2024) – At a pivotal moment, the Mellon Foundation supports the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)’s new and exciting future that truly reflects the best of contemporary art practices and community engagement. In MOCAD’s 17 year history, this grant marks the first funding support from the Mellon Foundation, through inspiring conversations with co-leaders, Jova Lynne, Artistic Director, and Marie Patton, Chief Operating Officer. MOCAD looks forward to a long and generative partnership with the Mellon Foundation. 

This multi-year grant will support a more sustainable and necessary organization-wide growth, increasing the capacity of the co-directors and museum staff. This work is instrumental in long-term success of the institution through reinforcing the internal systems and people that make our programs and community engagement meaningful.

In 2023, MOCAD hosted more than 144 innovative public programs, launched the first exhibition season in our history featuring all womxn artists and storytellers, and forged new partnerships that thoughtfully engage our community–including a partnership with Michigan Justice Fund to highlight the creativity of formerly and currently incarcerated artists, pop-up exhibition with the Progressive Arts Studio Collective (PASC), which provides creative enrichment and career pathways to artists living with disabilities. 

“It is truly an honor for MOCAD to receive support from the Mellon Foundation. We are grateful to be amongst the powerful institutions that Mellon recognizes as committed to advancing the arts, fostering inclusivity, and enriching cultural dialogue. This support not only empowers MOCAD to expand our programming and outreach efforts but also reaffirms our mission to cultivate a dynamic and accessible space where communities converge and creativity thrives” says MOCADs Artistic Director, Jova Lynne. 

MOCAD proudly functions as a hub for exploring emerging ideas in the contemporary arts and presenting art at the forefront of contemporary culture. The Museum remains responsive to the cultural content of our time, fueling crucial dialogue, collaboration, and public engagement. 

With supporters such as the Mellon Foundation, the co-directors cement MOCAD as a springboard for creativity and intellectual exploration in Detroit. 


The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities. Since 1969, the Foundation has been guided by its core belief that the humanities and arts are essential to human understanding. The Foundation believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom that can be found there. Through our grants, we seek to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive. Learn more at

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The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) presents exhibitions and programs that explore the best of contemporary art, connecting Detroit and the global art world. MOCAD focuses on art as a means to nurture social change and human understanding, reflecting our community. We encourage innovative experimentation by artists, musicians, makers, cultural producers, and scholars to enrich all who participate and to educate visitors of all ages in the power of art. Whether from Detroit or worldwide, we welcome creative voices who can guide us to an equitable and inclusive future. We believe that art can change us, and it’s our responsibility to hold a space where challenge, acceptance, hope, and beauty can coincide.

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