Thank you, museum members and friends, for your thoughtful dialogue and feedback following our statement in solidarity with the outpouring of grief and sadness at the senseless killing of Black Americans, including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others.
Following the events in the summer of 2020, the Denver Art Museum has been listening and seeking input from staff, partners, and community members about how best to take action in support of social justice and racial equity – both inside and outside the museum. We want to clearly state that racism has no place at the Denver Art Museum. Black lives matter and the museum stands with those who are demanding change to systemic racism in our country.
Our work to be a platform for Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and artists in underrepresented groups in our exhibitions, collections, and programs will continue, as will our commitment to acquiring works by artists of color. We will strive to more strongly amplify the stories and voices of those historically underrepresented in art museums. Art has the power to promote mutual understanding and highlight our common humanity. The museum will strive to be an inclusive space where all are recognized and heard, as well as a place for all to learn and engage in dialogue sparked by art.
How we share the world of art with our community is only part of the work in front of us. To truly make a difference, change must happen from the inside out. The Denver Art Museum is actively taking steps to have its internal community better reflect the diversity of the Colorado communities we serve. We are gathering feedback from museum staff, volunteers, and partners to help us identify the work needed to evaluate museum systems, procedures, and hiring processes with this goal in mind.
In addition to sharing words, we understand the need for action. In the coming days, weeks and months, the Denver Art Museum will:
- Commit to listening - We are gathering feedback from our staff, volunteers, artists, and partners to learn how we can move these conversations into concrete actions toward anti-racism in all levels of our organization.
- Provide a platform - Continue to collect and present the work of Indigenous artists and artists of color, as well as provide a platform for artists’ voices by collaborating with artists on projects for online and onsite public engagement.
- Share and inspire – Collaborations with and acquisitions of works of art by artists of color and exhibitions featuring diverse artists and their stories will be a larger part of our ongoing effort to share creativity and new perspectives with our members and the public.
We look forward to continuing to share progress of this ongoing work, and we appreciate your feedback (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director