Filmmaker Dream Hampton Joins MOCAD’s Board of Directors

The Detroit native, who created the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” is the museum’s latest appointment as it focuses on social transformation and inclusion
Filmmaker Dream Hampton has been named to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s Board of Directors. // Photograph courtesy of MOCAD

Filmmaker and writer dream hampton is joining the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s Board of Directors. MOCAD says the appointment of the Detroit native — whose most recent docuseries, Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly, earned her a Peabody Award and an Emmy nomination — furthers its commitment to social responsibility.

“I am thrilled to welcome dream to our MOCAD board,” says Elyse Foltyn, board chair for the museum, in a press release. “Given dream’s creativity and intuition, I expect she will bring a fresh and important voice to our discussions and decision-making. As a native Detroiter, dream understands what it’s like to be an artist in and from our city.”

The filmmaker, who styles her name in all lowercase letters, was named to Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list in 2019. Along with Surviving R. Kelly, her work includes the 2015 documentary Treasure, the HBO documentary It’s A Hard Truth Ain’t It, and the BET docuseries Finding Justice. Through her projects, she’s explored topics such as gender and sexual abuse, the criminal justice system, the war on drugs, and justice for the transgender community. She’s also highlighted people such as Georgia politician Stacey Abrams, Muhammed Ali, and The Notorious BIG.

In her role with the museum, hampton will help MOCAD with its goal of “facilitating dialogue, innovation, and inclusion” through contemporary art and culture that is both engaging and accessible.

“There are things I’m still learning, and I expect to continue to be inspired by the young people and artists leading many of the important conversations right now,” says Hampton in a press release. “Detroit is a working class city, and the majority of artists here are working class. So I expect Detroit to leverage the conversations we’ve already begun to bring power to the community and the history we have to build on.”

Hampton’s appointment to MOCAD’s board of directors is the latest change at the museum as it focuses on social transformation and inclusion. The museum fired its last executive director, Elysia Borowy-Reeder, in July 2020 following allegations from employees that she fostered a toxic and racist workplace — Borowy-Reeder called the charges against her a “defamatory campaign” in a statement. Since then, the museum has also named board member Dr. Charles Boyd to its Executive Committee and former board member Laura Hughes its interim executive director.

For more information, visit mocadetroit.org.

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Emma Klug is a senior editor and digital content coordinator at Hour Detroit. In her role, Klug writes and edits stories on community, art, food, and lifestyle topics for hourdetroit.com, edits the Hour Daily newsletter, and is involved in planning and proofing the monthly print magazine. She also oversees the editorial web internship program for the magazine. A graduate of Columbia College Chicago, Klug has been with Hour Detroit since 2016. She has also contributed to Hour Media publications DBusiness magazine and Metro Detroit Weddings magazine. You can reach her at eklug@hour-media.com.