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.
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.
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.”
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.”