The Hirshhorn grieves with the families and communities of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop and countless others. Every Black life matters. We stand with Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch’s statement on behalf of the Smithsonian to condemn systemic racism that normalizes murder, violence and other forms of dehumanization. We value frontline organizations and individuals fighting for social justice. The ongoing effects of COVID-19 have destroyed lives and livelihoods while exposing systemic inequities in Black and Brown communities. The pain we share demands we reconsider our responsibilities. There is work to be done, and we find relevance in Secretary Bunch’s words: “the past is replete with examples of ordinary people working together to overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges.” We have begun the work of questioning internal practices and listening to peers to make lasting changes. We will foster a diverse workforce across all areas of the museum. We will create and host exhibitions and public programs and collect works of art that reflect the diversity of our community and reach audiences that we have historically underserved. The Hirshhorn will form sustainable partnerships with organizations, artists, museum professionals and educators that uplift and amplify Black voices. We invite community partners, as well as art lovers, to join us. We are responsible for supporting and building an equitable society within and beyond our walls.
Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
June 23, 2020