The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA) has received a major gift from a Atlanta philanthropist Elkin Goddard Alston, and announced plans to create a permanent home.
MOCA GA has been located at the far end of Bennett Street, off Peachtree Street, an odd chockablock collection of businesses, from CrossFit to hair salons, and home to the TULA Art Center. In 2014, MOCA expanded it facility by opening the Education and Resource Center and galleries for the permanent collection on a lower level in the TULA Art Center.
Alston has deep roots in the Atlanta community. Her first husband, Jim Cushman, was the real estate developer behind Colony Square in Midtown, the city’s first mixed-use development. Her father was Philip Alston, Jr., a managing partner of the prominent law firm Alston & Bird. Her mother, Elkin Goddard, was one of the “Dirty Dozen” who founded the Forward Arts Foundation, which supports contemporary art, artists, and organizations in Atlanta [including BURNAWAY].
In a press statement, MOCA GA president and CEO Annette Cone-Skelton said: “This transformative gift provides MOCA GA with seed funding in support of its need for a permanent home and gives the institution the ability to explore its future in ways that it has never been able to do.”
Elkin Goddard Alston stated: “MOCA GA is a valued institution for Atlanta and all of Georgia. In its 16 years, it has celebrated and supported Atlanta and Georgia artists with exhibitions, programs, permanent art collection and historical archives. Its Working Artist Project program is truly amazing and impacts local artists (both emerging and established) and national curators. No other program provides this level of support to our Atlanta artists.”
MOCA board chair Philip Babb calls the gift “a catalyst for our museum’s growth and for the advancement of contemporary art throughout the state … I am confident that our dream of building a new museum for Georgia contemporary art will become a reality.”