Community Involvement at The Museum of Art — Fort Collins

This past week, I got the opportunity to have a phone interview with Lisa Hatchadoorian, the executive director at The Museum of Art — Fort Collins. We talked about community involvement at the Museum and how we can get locals more involved with their events.

“I come to the art museum and all I do is watch TV” by Brandon Doran is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hillhouse: What is your role at the museum?

Hatchadoorian: I have been at the museum for almost seven years now. The job is tasked with running the museum and managing the employees. I write grants, and curate the exhibitions, and set the artistic director for the museum.

Hatchadoorian is not an artist herself, she is more involved with being a historian and a curator.

Hillhouse: What is your favorite thing about working at the museum?

Hatchadoorian: I would say being able to surround myself and open up community discussion with contemporary artists about how they have a dialogue with current issues today and I really enjoy being involved with those discussions.

Hillhouse: Something that I personally experienced is a lack of interest in museums in many people my age. A lot of young adults often look down upon museums but I want people my age to know what they have to offer. What do you guys do to get young adults to come and visit?

Hatchadoorian: Before COVID hit, we did do a teen night to help students get out into the museum. The event helped students get out and socialize with others and get them comfortable while doing some hands-on art activities.

Hillhouse: Did you have a good turnout and return rate at these events?

Yeah, it was free, the attendance was always pretty good. I’m not really sure about people returning, but we were able to host a different variety of teens each week, which was great.

Hillhouse: What other events do you guys host not specifically for young adults?

Hatchadoorian: We have a concert with local musicians about 5 times a year. The music genre changes each time and it is something where if you really like live music it is really cool to see because we try to pair the art with the exhibition. It is a great way to socialize and also talk to the artist about the creation of their work. “It’s really a whole evening about how music and art can open each other up.”

“Love live music! Fantastic show tonight, @sanguin_carter! See you at your next one!” by shdowchsr is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Hillhouse: How do you feel about the art scene in Fort Collins?

Hatchadoorian: I think the community itself is very supportive. It’s a smaller demographic but depending on the types of exhibitions we do people are very supportive of the variety of art we have. We have a signature event where artists and nonartists design masks and we have a gallery where we sell them to raise money for the museum. It’s a great way to open up the artist community.

It was great to speak to Lisa and hear about the different ways the Fort Collins community gets involved with The Museum of Art — Fort Collins. Hopefully, we can continue to support our local artists through these events and hopefully attract more young adults to the museum.

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