Dear Friends of the Rochester Art Center,

I am honored to join the Rochester Art Center and help guide the organization through the most complex period our society has encountered in at least a lifetime. The pandemic, paired with the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing civil unrest, is forcing us to examine nearly every system to which we are accustomed. 

The Rochester Art Center board and staff recognize that beyond the changes required to reopen the museum under the cloud of COVID-19, the organization must also address internal changes in order to continue on its path toward sustainability and fulfilling its mission in a new era. As such, I am pleased to announce the immediate plan for the board and staff to become more diverse through succession and growth. We will continue to expand accessibility for all income levels and programs that nurture inclusivity and equality. I am proud to be here because the Rochester Art Center IS committed to racial equality, gender equity, freedom of thought and expression, and inclusivity for all walks of life.

Art offers us ways to ask questions, present ideas, solve problems and heal. For these reasons, our arts and cultural institutions are vitally important in this time – if they take up the difficult charge to encourage open dialogue and serve as models for inclusivity. I am excited to be here, in this moment, to help lead the Rochester Art Center through challenges that our society has skirted for too long. We will emerge through the uncertainties of our time as better people, a stronger art center, and valued community partner, serving all greater southeast Minnesota residents and our global community. Thank you for being part of our community and our effort to enhance quality of life for everyone through the arts.

Sincerely,

Pamela Caserta Hugdahl