How the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art Made the Most of Covid-19
The virtual expansion expands the horizons of MCA Denver. The future of the museum has been redefined and refined. “We are able to advance our values to an even larger and larger audience,” says Abrams. “I am so proud of what our team has achieved this year without a roadmap, without a clear path, by inventing and reinventing and adapting and re-adapting.”
Advancing the values of the MCA and the aesthetic of the museum – summed up as “wonderfully bizarre” – in the wake of the horribly bizarre year of 2020 has required institutional introspection.
“As an organization, we took the opportunity to look inward and see how we had gaps, how we didn’t fully engage with as many communities as we wanted, and we grew as an organization, ”says Abrams.
“Institutionally, the artists themselves have often broken with convention, and we value and celebrate the role they play. We have adhered to our values that allow us to stay consistent with creative practice, ”adds Abrams. “It was an opportunity to reflect on the way of living in the world beyond the four walls of our building, to live more widely, in a decentralized way as a site, connected, by privileging partnerships and communities with which we were not yet directly involved. ”
Lockdown required an upgrade. Abrams says, “This was a real opportunity for growth, but also a different approach – less on ‘come to us’ and more on’ how can we come to you and engage with you? How can we continue to connect and attract people? We ask what culture really is in a very contemporary way and use it as a way to live more as a community partner. Not everyone can or wants to come to us, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to go to them, ”she explains.
The non-collector museum has many plans in the works to celebrate its silver anniversary.
“What makes MCA so special is not a presentation of our exhibits, no matter how thoughtful, wonderful and engaging they are. Our other moments, including virtual ones, are lighter and are now more accessible. We will continue to do both and be both, ”Abrams said. “To be a pioneer, to be original, courageous and powerful, this is the raison d’être of MCA Denver. “