I write to you today with a heavy heart. As a museum staff and board, we want to acknowledge the pain, struggle and continued fight the black community faces daily. And, as a cultural institution that promotes listening, a safe environment, and a place where we encourage individuality and unity, we strongly oppose and stand against all forms of racism and oppression. We understand the incredible effort it takes to fight against systemic racism, both in our institution and our city, and we are dedicated to this hard work. We are hopeful that the current protests will help push change that is urgently needed in our country. We lock arms with our black community and are committed to fighting alongside you for true equality. 

This is a time where we as an art museum and as a community, can reflect on the history of our institution and look to the future for change. We are committed to making the necessary changes to ensure relevant, diverse educational programming and exhibitions, conscious collaborations and broader engagement with our community. Our country is facing an enormity of challenges currently. As we work toward change, we remain committed to inclusion, creativity and individuality. It is the mission of the Rockford Art Museum to foster creativity and build community through visual arts. We want to provide a safe space where every single person feels accepted. With that, we want to remove any barriers that prevent individuals from experiencing art starting by making Rockford Art Museum free to everyone through the end of the year.

As we move forward, we dedicate ourselves to change. With commitment and support from our community and one another, we strive to create a safe, inclusive and kind museum for all.

Carrie Johnson
Executive Director/Curator
Rockford Art Museum