In 1970, Mimi Wolford and her mother, Jean Kennedy, co-founded Mbari Art, an organization promoting international cultural exchange. Artists’ works from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the United States were presented in prominent museums and institutions in the U.S. and abroad, including three simultaneously at the Corcoran, Renwick and National Museum of African Art. Mbari has arranged over 100 exhibitions.
In 1995, Mimi founded the non-profit Mbari Institute for Contemporary African Art (MICAA), a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the collection, preservation, identification, documentation, and exhibition of works pertaining to the art, craft, and culture of Africa. Its goals are to educate the public, give visibility to African artists, promote and publish research, and act as a permanent repository for the works of contemporary African artists, books, publications, and related materials.