attendees and speaker at DU's Black Community Initiatives gala at the museum

Proud to Host Black Community Programs at the DAM

You would have thought a night of Robert Gray rocking a Black Love, Jackie Robinson-inspired throwback jersey, after joining our Summer Camp teachers' cohort, would be enough (his Design Thinking class has a waitlist, but there's room in a few other camps). Never mind his conversation about music as NFTs with Denver legend DJ Check One after his trio kept a packed Sturm Pavilion in a vibe. But no, on May 17 there was more!

That night, we also were proud to host DU’s Black Community Initiative’s annual gala. This celebration of Black graduate and undergraduate students was directed by Dr. Andriette Jordan Fields and produced by Erika Parkinson, Lifelong Learning & Accessibility Intern at the Denver Art Museum. As one of a handful of African Americans currently working at the museum, it was an honor for me to be a part of such an important event. The host was powerful, the speakers were inspiring, and the event could have gone all night listening to throwback R&B hits from the 90s spun by DJ M&M.

If you recall, we spent Black History Month with DU’s Black Community Initiative and youth from the community writing poetry and painting in the theme of Afrofuturism. It was a special night of call n’ response, with “Skee-Wee” calls from AKAs and a church-like atmosphere with “amen” as affirmation for the speakers. We are honored to have hosted and will continue to support our partners in our spaces. As our Senior AV Manager Dave King messaged me, “I’m getting emotional here man… someone cutting onions.” I thought the same. I couldn’t have been prouder to see so many faces celebrating Black excellence and feeling right at home at the Denver Art Museum. We are eager to continue our commitment to communities of color through partnerships, staffing, and outreach, to name a few.

What's next? Visit us at our booth during Denver’s Juneteenth Celebration June 18–19 in Historic Five Points to learn more about what the museum is doing to support our EDI work and beyond. Learn more.