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Meet Patric McCoy of Diasporal Rhythms in Bronzeville

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patric McCoy.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Diasporal Rhythms is a 501(C)(3) organization comprised of art collectors that actively promote the collection of the underappreciated, contemporary art of the African Diaspora. In America, Diasporal Rhythms is a unique organization of art collectors. This organization has been innovative in 1. Focusing on growing the number of people self-identifying as art collectors by dispelling myths of what a “collector” is, 2. Providing unique approaches for public engagement with art, artists and other collectors through home tours, videos, artist studio visits, presentations, and exhibitions, 3. Committing to institution-building for a home for the art of the African Diaspora in the Chicago. We are not, in the collective, acquiring art for existing institutions nor for investment purposes but promoting collection by individuals and institutions for aesthetic, cultural and historical purposes.

The organization was founded in 2003 by four African American professionals, passionate about African diaspora art; Carol Briggs, Joan Crisler, Patric McCoy and Dan Parker. They were assembled for a Collectors Forum at the South Side Community Art Center. Their robust and spirited panel discussion was the catalyst for them to come back together and organize action by collectors to expand the appreciation of contemporary visual art created by artists of the African diaspora. Since 2003, Diasporal Rhythms’ programs have gone beyond the walls of individual collectors homes, reaching 1500 participants annually, thereby broadening support for this artistic niche in the minds of future generations of artists and art collectors in the Chicago land area.

In 2010, Patric McCoy, President, and co-founder announced to the organization that he was going to establish a trust to leave his art collection and other items from his estate to Diasporal Rhythms. This has provided the catalyst for the organization’s commitment to institution-building. The acceptance and transfer of the trust will be a first step to establishing a brick and mortar institution.

Has it been a smooth road?
1. Growing the organization against the commonly held-but incorrect beliefs about what an ‘art collector’ actually is.
2. Getting outside financial support of the organization’s mission.
3. Operating host of programs without a physical space.
4. Attracting younger people to consider and act as art collectors as they are already doing as music collectors.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Our mission is to collect, promote and preserve art from the African Diaspora by encouraging individuals and institutions to appreciate and acquire this art.

Since its inception, Diasporal Rhythms has worked to accomplish the first two goals of its mission “to collect” and “to promote”. We have grown from 4 founders to 71 collectors to date. And we have also had an impact on friends, associates and network contacts in their new recognition that they are also art collectors.

Diasporal Rhythms has continued to accomplish its goal of promoting the appreciation for visual arts culture —and the contemporary artists who create it — through receptions for artists visiting Chicago, seminars, tours of private collections, book signings, artist talks and exhibitions, publishing of catalogs and trips to other cities, video documentation of acclaimed artists and collectors.

Diasporal Rhythms has introduced and presented its concepts of “collector” through groups trips to Aurora and Peoria IL, Milwaukee WI, Indianapolis IN, Dayton OH, New Orleans LA, and Atlanta GA just to name a few. In each of those places, we have interacted with collectors there and gained some converts to our concept of collecting for cultural purposes. Diasporal Rhythms has also promoted its mission in responding to requests for speaking engagements at Chicago locations (like at the Chicago Cultural Center) and at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce OH, Art Basel in Miami FL and the Lubeznik Art Center in South Bend, IN. Our signature program is the Collectors Home Tour that we do biannually. The Home Tours have grown from being held exclusively in Bronzeville and Chatham to including South Shore, Beverly, South Suburbs and Northwest Indiana homes.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Chicago is a culturally rich city with a prestigious cultural legacy. However, it has not done a good job in supporting and sustaining certain aspects of its cultural legacy (and especially in the visual arts arena.) Which is why organizations, like Diasporal Rhythms, have come into existence… to fill a void of support for art scenes overlooked. Chicago is no longer a small business-friendly city. It presents mountains of bureaucratic barriers and too much political influence into business start-ups thereby discouraging niche markets. Chicago needs to review its regulations and policies and eliminate those barriers to start up.


  • $50 per person for one of the three Collectors Home Tours offered Saturday, October 13, 2018. One route will go to a set of Collector homes in the Bronzeville neighborhood, and one to a set in the South Shore area and the third route will go to a set of Collector homes in the South Suburbs
  • $25 for the anniversary catalog

Contact Info:

  • Address: Diasporal Rhythms
    D.E. Simmons, Executive Director
    4301 South Ellis Suite 207
    Chicago, IL 60653
  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Facebook: Diasporal Rhythms

Image Credit:
Isadore Howard

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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