Sen. Kevin Parker donates $1M to Arts of Africa gallery, Brooklyn Museum

NYS Senator Kevin Parker with Anne Pasternak,
NYS Senator Kevin Parker with Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy director of the Brooklyn Museum, at the First Saturdays event on Feb. 4 after handing over a $1M check for the renovation of its Arts of Africa Gallery.
Courtesy Sen. Kevin Parker’s Office

NYS Senator Kevin Parker, in celebration of Black History Month and Brooklyn Museum on Saturday, Feb. 4, presented a check for $1M to the historical institution for the renovation of its Arts of Africa Gallery, one of the first collections to recognize and exhibit African material culture as art, launched in the 1920’s.

“I am extremely happy to present this check to the Brooklyn Museum which is in arguably one of the finest cultural institutions in our Borough serving more than 700,000 visitors a year,” said Senator Parker.

“I am particularly pleased that the funding designated to the renovation of the Arts of Africa gallery means that the installation will now have a permanent exhibit space and will undoubtedly enhance regional tourism, create jobs and stimulate economic activity in Brooklyn,” he said, in handing over the donation to Anne Pasternak, Shelby White and Leon Levy director of the museum.

Pasternak, who has helmed the department since 2015, conveyed gratitude for the contribution from the Brooklyn lawmaker, noting, “We are incredibly grateful to Senator Parker and his years of service to Brooklyn.”

“Senator Parker has been a longtime supporter of the Brooklyn Museum and his generous contribution of $1M will help us build our first permanent exhibition space for our Arts of Africa collection. The new gallery will allow us to tell even richer stories, and highlight our excellent collection of African art,” expressed Pasternak.

First Saturdays at the Brooklyn Museum, now in its 25th year, is a free community event full of programming, art, and entertainment. The evening’s presentation under the theme “Legacy,” featured the creative excellence of Black artists who are shaping the borough’s culture today and throwback performers who put First Saturdays on the map.