MoCCA Aims for Improved Location: Closure Not Permanent

When Manhattan's Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art used Facebook on July 9 to announce that it was closing its physical space immediately and canceling all scheduled programming, a lot of people feared the worst. References to a “new and exciting incarnation” were not necessarily comforting, since they sounded suspiciously like the kind of online gallery that the Words and Pictures Museum had faded into. For many, it sounded like MoCCA had gone on to a better place the way grandmothers do.

But MoCCA President Ellen Abramowitz assured the Journal that there really is a better home awaiting the museum, although the papers haven’t been signed and she was not at liberty to divulge details. She was able to say, “MoCCA is not dead. Some reporters assumed we were going to a virtual gallery, but that is not the case. There will be a new physical space.” She said the new space will be an improvement over the old one.

Asked why it was necessary to close the current space before the museum is able to announce its new location, Abramowitz said, “Our lease was up where we were and we had to renew it or get out at the end of the month. It was a good deal there and we were not looking at a significant increase in the rent, but we talked it over and decided we did not want to stay in that space.” (A recent article on TCJ.com considered the limitations of that space at length.)

One of the problems with the old 4th-floor space has been its lack of visibility and accessibility. Abramowitz confirmed that the new location will have ground-floor access and will be in Manhattan. She said also that all of the museum’s current educational programs and events, including the MoCCA festival, will continue.

Abramowitz was not willing to say more until negotiations for the new space are completed. She was especially close-mouthed when the Journal asked if a partnership was involved in the new location. From her firm, “No comment,” it can probably be safely assumed that a partnership is being negotiated, possibly with an educational institution. More details will be forthcoming, Abramowitz said.