The Africa Center is located at 1280 Fifth Avenue in New York City New York. Situated at the intersection of 110th and Fifth Avenues, it is one of the many cultural institutions on Museum Mile.
Its designation to be developed in Harlem, a community noted for its significant Black population and stature in Black culture, was completely purposeful. Developed by Caples Jefferson Architects, the design and décor of The Africa Center honor the diverse stylings created and influences by those indigenous to the massive continent and the Africa Diaspora.
A non-profit and non-partisan institution, The Africa Center seeks to increase the understanding and appreciation of the Diaspora. With these gained insights and perspectives, The Africa Center, according to its website, became a “hub for the exchange of ideas around culture, business, and policy related to the continent, and in the spirit of collaboration and engagement with individuals and institutions who share the Center’s values.” Among its aims, The Center “inspires enthusiasm, and advances thought action around Africa’s global influence and impact on our collective and shared futures.”
Launching its public programming arm in 2019, The Africa Center works to develop and promote dialogue and partnership between artists, educators, entrepreneurs and other professionals in Africa and the Diaspora. This programming includes art exhibitions, book readings, community discussions, film screenings and performances. Expanding their outreach, as per the NYC-The Arts website, it plans to “host visual, performing and digital arts presentations; develop and disseminate innovative educational tools; convene focused, thoughtful peer-to-peer exchanges; and sponsor results-oriented policy research.”
In its projection of progress, urbanization, diversity and the youth are foci of The Africa Center. As the oldest continent in the world, Africa also has the youngest population globally. Anticipating its market of one billion people, the Center seeks to be the pioneering force to meet, as per NYC-The Arts site, the needs of Africa, “the most rapidly urbanizing continent on the planet; home to extraordinary religious, cultural ethnic, linguistic, and environmental diversity; and demographically is the youngest region in the world. These themes will inform our work across our three major lines of activity.”
Unique to experiencing The Africa Center is Teranga, a casual-dining restaurant housed on the first floor. With a menu created by executive chef and co-founder, Pierre Thiam, Teranga, as per the Center’s website, “is a culinary journey into the depth, diversity, and deliciousness that the motherland has to offer.” This establishment serves traditional African fare that prominently features African ingredients.
Highly praised, Teranga also hosts cooking demonstrations and tastings. “Teranga”, which is Senegalese for “most highly regarded value”, translates to “good hospitality” in its application to this acclaimed eatery. In this application, Teranga, according to The African Center, illustrates “how one treats a guest – with open arms and a seat around the bowl.”
Visitors are sure to enjoy and learn much from their experience at The African Center, including Teranga!