November 26, 2018

A Note From Adam...

Adam Lerner


Dear Friends,

With a wistful feeling in my heart, I am writing to share with you that I have decided not to renew my contract and will step down from my role as Director and Chief Animator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver this June.

When I took the helm, just after we opened our new building in 2007, I set my sights on creating a museum that would vibe with the emerging vitality of the city. I wanted MCA Denver to grow with the city, but, even more, I wanted the museum to influence what Denver was becoming.

Blessed with the support of an exceptional Board of Trustees, and a creative and hardworking staff, I’m proud that I’ve been able to foster the growth of an institution that now pulses with energy and imagination. I am especially grateful to you, our faithful friends and supporters, for getting us to where we are today. Your involvement fueled us and your contributions sustained us. You believed in us and, together, we built a place befitting the stature and specialness of our forward-thinking city.

My vision for the museum was always bigger than attracting crowds. Together with my staff, I strived to do things in Denver at the forefront of culture anywhere. I’ve worked to make sure that Denver’s prosperity includes the city’s many talented artists and creatives who enrich our community. We’ve always sought to do everything we do in our own way, reimagining the role of a contemporary art museum and cultivating a personality for it that is equal parts elevated, playful, and soulful.

MCA Denver will, of course, continue to thrive with its highly talented staff and dedicated board. The museum’s creative leadership, including Nora Burnett Abrams, Ellen Bruss Curator, and Sarah Baie, Director of Programming, currently develop the museum’s public offerings, needing little input from me. Director of Development Michael McNeill has been extremely successful running the museum’s Elevated Heartbeat Campaign, which has already raised $17.5 million, ensuring the financial stability of the institution for the foreseeable future.

I feel this is the appropriate time for me to pursue new creative ventures from beyond the platform of a museum. My success so far has always come from departing from established paths, and I’d like to continue off-roading. I will remain in Denver and continue to work with creatives and artists, broadly defined, to further enrich our city and impact people’s lives.

The board is already underway with a search for a new director and I am confident they will find someone great, as the museum is positioned to attract the best talent in the field. I personally am looking forward to watching the museum’s vision evolve under new leadership as it enters the next chapter of its development.

Once again, I want to thank you for helping me get the museum to where it is today. Thank you for loving us.

I look forward to seeing you at MCA Denver soon, often, and far into the future.


Adam Lerner
Mark G. Falcone “MaFa” Director and Chief Animator

P.S. If you haven’t seen the Tara Donovan exhibition yet, get here soon. It’s the sh*t.