The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver) explores the art and culture of our time through rotating exhibitions and public educational programs. Featuring regional, national and international artists, MCA Denver offers a wide range of exhibitions promoting creative experimentation with art and ideas. Through adult and youth education programs and other creative events, the museum serves as an innovative forum for a culturally engaged community.
MCA Denver was founded in 1996, when philanthropist Sue Cannon and a group of volunteers created the first dedicated home for contemporary art in the city of Denver. For seven years, MCA Denver occupied a renovated fish market in Sakura Square in lower downtown Denver.
In 2003, Mark Falcone and Ellen Bruss, members of MCA Denver’s Board of Trustees, donated a gift of land in Denver’s Central Platte Valley in order to realize the organization’s goal of building a permanent home for contemporary art in Denver.
In October 2007, under the directorship of Cydney Payton, MCA Denver opened its new, 27,000-square foot, environmentally sustainable facility in lower downtown Denver designed by acclaimed architect David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates (UK). The building, Adjaye's first museum commission, was designed to minimize boundaries between the exterior spaces of the city and the interior galleries of the museum. Hidden skylights fill the interior spaces with natural light. Windows look out on the streets of the central Platte Valley. The building has five galleries on two floors as well as dedicated education spaces, a shop, library and rooftop cafe.
In March 2009, Adam Lerner was appointed as the new director of MCA Denver. Upon Lerner’s move from his former position at The Lab at Belmar to MCA Denver, the Boards of Trustees agreed to merge the two institutions.
MCA Denver is an innovative forum for contemporary art that inspires and challenges all audiences, creating understanding and dialog about the art of our time.
photograph by Grant Leighton