Architect rendering of circular pavilion room

Sturm Family Foundation Gifts $6M to North Building Renovation Project

Foundation gift will support flexible space for programming and events

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) today announced that the Sturm Family Foundation has pledged $6 million to the museum’s North Building renovation project. In recognition of this major gift, the event and program space in the planned Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center will be named the Sturm Grand Pavilion.

The Sturm Grand Pavilion, on the second level of the planned welcome center, will be enclosed with a fluted glass façade that will provide a visual orientation for visitors to the campus as well as visibility into the activities taking place inside. The dynamic and flexible space will host family programs as well as events during the day; partitions will separate the space to make room for luncheons, presentations or additional programs. Completely opened up, the new event space will seat approximately 650 people for signature museum functions, such as the Collectors’ Choice and the Uncorked fundraising events, as well as external events.

“This generous contribution from the Sturm Family Foundation marks the family’s commitment to the city of Denver and the community,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “We are grateful for their support, and we look forward to hosting many community events in the new pavilion.”

The Sturm Family Foundation was founded in 1990 by Donald and Susan Sturm. Their children, Stephen Sturm and Emily Sturm, are currently co-managing directors of the foundation. At the DAM, the foundation sponsored the 2003 exhibitions Bonnard, Sargent and Italy and El Greco to Picasso from the Phillips Collection, and has provided ongoing support to museum education programs and annual fundraising events, Uncorked Reserve and Collectors’ Choice.

“Gathering spaces like the Sturm Grand Pavilion set the stage for significant museum and community functions,” said Don Sturm. “We are proud to support the Denver Art Museum and construction of the new Sie Welcome Center. We hope our gift will further the museum’s ability to bring novel, enriching experiences to its visitors.”

The Sturm Family Foundation has made numerous contributions to the Denver community, including to the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law and Graduate School of Professional Psychology. The Foundation also recently sponsored the exhibition Backstory: Western American Art in Context, a collaboration between History Colorado and the DAM presented at History Colorado.

Don and Susan Sturm are owners of ANB Bank. Don Sturm has been a trustee of the Denver Art Museum Foundation board since 1995. Don and Susan were co-chairs of Collectors’ Choice 37 in November 2017 honoring Anna and John J. Sie, whose contribution to the North Building renovation was announced in 2016. Emily Sturm has also supported the DAM by participating on numerous museum event committees, including this year’s Uncorked Reserve.

The goals of the North Building project include stewardship of the building, connecting the campus and the neighborhood, serving the broadest spectrum of the community and celebrating creativity. In addition to the Sturm Grand Pavilion inside the planned welcome center, other project elements include expanded gallery spaces for growing collections of design and Western American art, completing Ponti’s original vision for visitor access to stunning 7th-floor views, exterior site improvements and updating DAM’s environmental systems and technology.

In January 2018, the DAM started the renovation of the North Building which will be known as the Lanny and Sharon Martin Building upon its completion by its 50th anniversary in 2021. More details will be released as the project develops.



The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit


The mission of the Sturm Family Foundation is to support nonprofits that provide valuable and impactful services and programs to their local communities.

Download PDF of press release.