We’re currently thinking through our role as a cultural institution. The MacKenzie has recently welcomed Elder Betty McKenna to the Gallery as our first Elder in Residence, and the message she has provided our staff is a powerful one: When we welcome someone to this land, and to the MacKenzie, they become family. It’s our job as caregivers and custodians to gather ourselves within the larger spirit of the Gallery, in order to help nurture and guide our guests and visitors, directing them toward the art and culture they can connect with, whether they visit us in person or virtually.
As a cultural institution, we are charged with caring for the cultural health of our communities. The MacKenzie is not just a place to see art, but a space to engage in transformative experiences – a living entity – a safe space for you to feel welcome, spend time in, and return to again and again, where you can feed and nurture your soul with experiences, education, and knowledge.
While this year has been difficult, we have taken the opportunity to adapt our education programming for the digital environment. In August, we launched our first-ever Digital Artist in Residency program (DAIR), where we invited seven digital artists to participate in a four-week intensive where they produced innovative video games as artworks. In September, we shifted our school tour program and teacher resources online, so that teachers and students can still have access to facilitated tours of our exhibitions, whether they are at home or in the classroom, at a time when they may not otherwise have the opportunity to do so. Our education programs are a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on art galleries and institutions, and we need your support to help them continue. As we look forward, we are ready to adapt to change: developing hybrid virtual/in-person events and embracing exciting new ways to serve our communities in order to strengthen the face-to-face experiences of art that can never be replaced.
Your donation will help us nurture the spirit of the next generation. Together, we are all writing the history of Saskatchewan and building the cultural reality we want to live in.