Message from the Director
In our 50th Anniversary year, we continue to reflect on the progress that San José Museum of Art is making in effective community engagement, helping to create a more vibrant public life in San José and Silicon Valley.
As you know, the San José Museum of Art proactively and temporarily closed the Museum’s doors on March 13 for the safety of our community, visitors and staff. The following week, SJMA’s entire full-time staff pivoted to move all operations offsite after the Santa Clara County order to shelter in place on March 16th, and began the ramp up to work from home. I am very proud of the considerate, cross-departmental collaboration that has unfolded since sheltering in place, resulting in a nimble team producing richer content online. We hope that you engage with our website and social media channels, and please give us feedback on our Museum from Home offerings.
Last winter, we announced Hidden Heritages: San José’s Vietnamese Legacy, a two-year partnership between SJMA, Chopsticks Alley and the San José Office of Cultural Affairs that brings Vietnamese artists and community members together to share and articulate stories that reveal the contributions of Vietnamese Americans to the City. We are so grateful for major support from the California Arts Council, as artists Binh Danh, Trinh Mai and Van-Anh (Vanessa) launch workshops over two years as we re-imagine ourselves as a Museum for the audience of the future.
In February 2020, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of offering free admission to students and their teachers. Through the generosity of Yellow Chair Foundation, who renewed their support, college students now represent 20% of the general audience. All of these achievements build upon a proud history at SJMA, and we are hearing from our grateful stakeholders present and past. When we re-open, we look forward to welcoming our student audiences back to the Museum.
We received this heartfelt letter below last year, which reminded us of the impact of free Museum attendance for students and teachers and how it builds community. To Letha, and all of you who participate in SJMA programs, educational outreach, on and offsite teaching and learning – thank you.
With our offices closed, our preferred method of contact is email. However, calls will be returned as soon as possible.
S. Sayre Batton
Oshman Executive Director