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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

04/13/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/13/2021 08:46

A Message for Our Community from Crystal Bridges and the Momentary

In light of recent legislation passed in the state of Arkansas, we share our support for all LGBTQ+ people as a valued and respected part of our community.

The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Similarly at the Momentary, artist Tavares Strachan's neon sculpture encapsulates our mission and belief: You Belong Here. The measures and sentiments of some recent legislation work directly against our mission, and we are deeply concerned with the outcome and the negative impact these policies have on the LGBTQ+ community, and on all communities.

At Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, we strive to provide space for dialogue, acceptance, engagement, learning, and growth for all. We share the stories and lift up the voices of America's artists, and significant works by LGBTQ+ artists are a vital part of the Crystal Bridges collection and the programming across Crystal Bridges and the Momentary. Consider the works of Paul Cadmus, Nick Cave, Vanessa German, Cobi Moules, Shizu Saldamando, and many others; these LGBTQ+ artists, like all artists, tell their particular stories and reflect their identities in their work shared in our galleries.

As cultural institutions committed to promoting understanding and equality, our spaces are at their best when they are used to facilitate continued dialogue and discussion about issues in our community. We hope you'll join us for upcoming In Real Time virtual discussions, our program series that addresses the urgent issues of our time. These conversations provide space for civil discourse, offer historical perspectives, lift up marginalized voices, and carry forth the work of promoting equality.

While we sometimes struggle to find the right path forward, and we recognize we often stumble, we are dedicated to the ongoing work of fulfilling our mission. In founding Crystal Bridges and the Momentary, the belief in Welcoming All became our most essential core value, and You Belong Here became our embodiment of that belief. We continue to support the LGBTQ+ community, we move forward in the ongoing work toward understanding and equality, and we hope to welcome you soon-because whoever you are-You Belong Here.

Sincerely,

Alice Walton
Founder and Board Chairperson

Olivia Walton
Founding Chairperson of the Momentary Council

Rod Bigelow
Executive Director and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Lieven Bertels
Director
The Momentary