Dear friends of the Frist,
We join the international outcry denouncing racism, intolerance, and violence, and we, like those filling streets around the world in protest, mourn George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many other victims before them. We join the world to say that Black Lives Matter. Given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color, these recent killings underscore the inequities and casualties of systemic racism and make the need for real change even more urgent. We at the Frist Art Museum strive to be a part of an immediate and sustained movement for change.
As a visual arts organization founded in 2001, we are in a strong position to be part of a communal force committed to deconstructing assumed truths inherited from the past. The Frist was conceived as an institution devoted to education, the celebration of visual culture, and a deeply rooted belief that seeing the world differently through art can change lives. From our founding, we have been charged with bringing to light a more thorough understanding of the world’s peoples, cultures, and religions and their respective contributions to humanity, with special attention paid to the ethnic and racial diversity of our own country and community.
We are rigorously committed to examining ourselves, our presumptions and motives, our operations and programming, and our staff, volunteers, board, and councils. We can always do better. Nashville has a place in the history of the twentieth-century civil rights movement that was not always peaceful or easy. Ensuring that we are on the right side of history in 2020 is a responsibility we share. We look forward to coming together as we move toward a more equitable and just society. In service all things are possible.
Susan H. Edwards, PhD
Executive Director and CEO