Meet and Greet with new Council member Laurie Cumbo

Laurie A. Cumbo was born and raised in Brooklyn, where she attended and graduated from the Berkeley Carroll Day School in Park Slope and Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene. After graduating Spelman College in Atlanta, GA with a degree in Fine Art, she returned to Brooklyn and received her Master’s Degree in Visual Arts Administration from New York University. As a cultural leader, entrepreneur, activist, college professor, educator, lecturer and small business owner working in the not-for-profit sector, Ms. Cumbo has dedicated her life to community development and preserving the dynamic elements of diversity that make Brooklyn, New York what it is today.
At the age of twenty-two, while pursuing her graduate studies at NYU, Ms. Cumbo used her coursework and thesis to develop MoCADA, Brooklyn’s first Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. She incorporated MoCADA as a 501c3 non-profit institution with enthusiastic support from the Brooklyn community of Bedford Stuyvesant and surrounding neighborhoods. MoCADA’s programs now include, outdoor film festivals, after-school programs, mural projects, walking tours, and Bus Tours with “Braggin’ About Brooklyn”, in an effort to bring locals and tourists alike to Bedford-Stuyvesant. These efforts, along with many other dedicated individuals, have contributed to the economic revitalization of Bedford Stuyvesant.
Ms. Cumbo’s dedication to underserved communities and bringing people of all backgrounds together to discover their commonalities continues to be at the forefront of her priorities. Ms. Cumbo has led an effort to turn public housing into an ideal venue for cultural events, in which she privately raised $150,000 to provide monthly cultural programming by world-class musicians and performers in the community centers and outdoor spaces. As a small business owner, Ms. Cumbo shares her community’s concern about the closing of local businesses throughout Brooklyn. In 2012, she raised $250,000 to create monthly concerts and block parties in collaboration with the Business Improvement Districts throughout Central Brooklyn in order to attract locals and tourists alike to support local businesses.
Ms. Cumbo is a member of ARTTABLE, the American Association of Museums, the National Alliance of African and African American Art Support Groups, the Cultural Equity Group, the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Alliance and the Spelman College Alumni Association. She is an alumna of Achieving Leadership’s Purpose (ALP), Jack and Jill of America Brooklyn Chapter and Delta Sigma Theta Brooklyn Chapter Teen Lift and is a former graduate professor in the School of Art & Design at Pratt Institute.