MBAD African Bead Museum now enters its next phase as a civic and cultural leader.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Knight Foundation and the support of Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects [LOHA], a Los Angeles/Detroit based architectural design firm, we were able to put a new roof on the houses and make repairs to structural damage incurred over the years.

Now, LOHA is engaged in revitalizing the museum and in securing Dabls' artwork as well as his significant collection of African artifacts. Through this Patronicity campaign, we will complete the renovation to the interiors of the three townhouses, making way for an exhibition space, multi-use community space, an artist-in-residence, and a remodeled bead store.



Through partnership with Allied Media Projects, the museum will also become a primary site for the local and national audiences that convene in Detroit each June as part of the Allied Media Conference, or AMC. Approaching its 20th year, the AMC brings together a vibrant community of people using media to incite change and celebrate diverse and inclusive identities. The renovation of the iconic Dabls' MBAD African Bead Museum and the 20th anniversary of the AMC offer an opportunity to solidify and connect Detroit’s unique spaces for creative exchange and cultivating our understanding of one another.


The design and construction is spearheaded in kind by Lorcan O'Herlihy Architects for a long view that aims to provide a museum-quality setting that amplifies the strong, creative identity and energy embedded in the existing spaces.


Why now? Why Detroit? Why does your support matter?


Detroit's future is in its neighborhoods.  MBAD African Bead Museum is in a unique position as a cultural institution born of and growing in a neighborhood. MBAD African Bead Museum is a cornerstone for the soon-to-be Africa Town at the intersection of New Center and Northwest Detroit.

The expansion of the museum provides an important cultural anchor from Detroit’s booming Downtown and Midtown while opening a connection to the West Side, home to Artist Village, The Redford Theatre, the Historic Avenue of Fashion, and The University of Detroit.