MCA Denver's 25th Anniversary


This year, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver is celebrating 25 years of sparking connections and curiosity through contemporary art and culture.

We owe our very existence to Sue Cannon, Marina Graves, Mark Sink, Dale Chisman, Lawrence Argent, and a few other enterprising Denverites who co-founded the city’s first contemporary art museum in 1996 with the mission to celebrate the art of our time in the heart of Denver.

The vision that drives us, 25 years on, is that we continually test the possibilities of what a 21st century museum can be. We strive to be both a singular site and a series of networks to provide one-of-a-kind experiences for the community of visitors, partners, and supporters we serve.

Over the years, we haven’t just produced original exhibitions at the forefront of the field of contemporary art, but annually, we’ve also produced nearly a hundred public events, including lectures, performances, and workshops that attract a youthful, engaged audience.

We owe so much to the city of Denver, which has embraced our antics and encouraged us to be our authentic, risk-taking selves. We have felt this city’s love every step of the way and are only able to celebrate this extraordinary milestone because of how Denver has embraced and supported us year after year.


In true MCA Denver fashion, we're hosting a 1996 themed rooftop gathering, and here's what we can tell you...there will be cake, there will be bubbly, and there will be party hats (duh)! Sure that's a little vague and you're probably asking yourself:

  • But will there be 25 dancing swans? As if!* But we def thought about it.
  • Will there be 25 25 year-olds hanging out with complimentary bubbles on the roof? Entirely possible, because each person who comes to the b-day bash will receive a complimentary glass of bubbly or sparkling water.
  • Will there be 25 flute players serenading the ceremony? No there will not. But there will be a hella* chill DJ (DJ Ginger Perry) laying down tracks from the mid-90s to get down to.
  • Will there be quarters (25 cents) hidden around the museum for fun? Of course.
  • Will we be offering 25% off membership?! Heck yes we will.
  • Wow, that sounds fun, what do I wear? Nirvana said it best, "Come as you are." But if you are feeling festive, rock your best 90s attire to really channel the party's vibe.
  • Anything else I should know? Only that the event is free to attend, simply RSVP and make sure to spread the word to your favorite people because you officially have plans October 8 from 5–7PM to attend MCA Denver's Birthday Bash and party like it's 1996.

*Proof that we googled 90s slang terms to bring the 90s alive.


We talked to human 25-year-olds about what it feels like to have a quarter of a century under their belts. We learned that being 25 is a complex time filled with uncertainty, excitement, confusion, and hope. It means noticing changes within yourself and unearthing who you are. Being 25 means having so much growth to look back on and just as much to look forward to in the years to come. In many ways, we as a museum feel the same.