Letter from the Director:
Around the country, organizations of every size witnessed or participated in heated debates over the 2017 year about what arts institutions should aspire to. The Metropolitan Museum of Art sparked dispute about inclusion with its changing admission policies, while polarizing questions of cultural representation dominated the Whitney Biennial and the Walker Art Center’s sculpture garden. The year reinforced that equity must be made a part of the very fabric of arts organizations, nonprofit decision making, and cultural programming. These conversations were not new to SPACE. Throughout our 15 year history, we have continually worked to further accessibility and celebrate difference. Our successes and challenges this year encouraged us to strive to reflect our community, aspire to our highest values, and invest in a culture of collaboration.
The arts are a place where we grapple with the most fundamental issues of our times, a means of escape, and a site to commune together. SPACE strives to consistently be a creative home in our community where audiences can lose themselves in live music, fall in love with a work of art, be challenged by stories rooted in hard truths, and contribute to community conversations. In the years ahead, we pledge to do this work with empathy and generosity, strive toward greater diversity at all levels of our organization, cultivate a renewed sense of interdependence with our community, and continue to generate sustainable opportunities for artists.
We extend our thanks to the many donors, volunteers, artists, and advocates who make so much happen for our audiences and even more possible behind the scenes. And most importantly, we share our endless gratitude for our Interim Executive Director, Gibson Fay-Leblanc, who guided SPACE through our 2017 executive transition with grace.
While we have expanded our annual report ten-fold this year, with over 200 programs annually, this report can still only skim the surface of all we do.
Kelsey Halliday Johnson