facebook image
clyfford still | museum
Two young girls wearing bright pink head scarves look down at an art studio table with art supplies
New Americans Day, September 8, 2018. Photo: Sonia Rae

Celebrating Welcoming Week in Denver

by Kristin Kirsch Feldkamp, Editorial Assistant

The galleries and forecourt were abuzz on September 8 as the Museum welcomed guests for our second New Americans Day, a collaboration with the Denver Public Library. The Clyfford Still Museum participates in New Americans Day because we believe our community is enriched by diversity and inclusivity. Welcoming new Americans from varying backgrounds and helping them feel at home in our cultural institution is important to us because it supports that belief.

Guests and gallery teachers at the museum’s entrance gathering for a tour with one of our gallery teachers and a Somali-speaking translator. Photo: Sonia Rae
Guests and gallery teachers at the museum’s entrance gathering for a tour with one of our gallery teachers and a Spanish-speaking translator. Photo: Sonia Rae

This important event is more than just a fun day. It’s the kick off for a series of events the Denver Public Library hosts commemorating Welcoming Week, a national week where, according to its website, “communities bring together immigrants, refugees, and native-born residents to raise awareness of the benefits of welcoming everyone.” We were thrilled this year to partner with Museo de las Americas and the Denver Architectural Foundation too.

In honor of Welcoming Week, September 14–23, the Museum thought you might enjoy a few highlights from New Americans Day. To that end, we’ve compiled reflections and photographs we hope will do justice to one of our favorite days.

Guests were greeted on the morning of the event by the lively music of Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra, a popular Denver-based mariachi band. Sonia Rae, event organizer and the Museum’s director of audience and community engagement, was determined to have a mariachi band, and our guests were not let down.

The lively Mariachi Sol de mi Tierra performing as guests arrived. Photo: Sonia Rae

Our gallery teachers then led tours of the Museum with translators on hand to help facilitate discussions. Emily Bullard, the Museum’s manager of education and programs, had a lot to say about the event but one thing in particular impressed her. “I thought it was really wonderful,” Emily said, “that the artwork and the space can transcend language, and that all members of a family, young and old, regardless of language or art experience can access that experience.”

Guests listen attentively to a gallery teacher in front of PH-272, 1950. Photo: DPL

After the tours, guests enjoyed creating their own art in the Making Space followed by face and henna painting, refreshments, and the music of Chihera (a family band playing music of Zimbabwe) and Mudra Dance. One of our long-time volunteers, artist Jennifer Davey, summed the event up nicely: “To have these multiple perspectives and to welcome all to the Museum was wonderful. It is one of the best events I have witnessed.”

Guests being creative in the Making Space after their tour. Photo: Sonia Rae
Chihera, a family band, plays Zimbabwean music in the Museum’s forecourt. Photo: Sonia Rae

Recent Posts