View Photo
Letter from the Director
The Walker's board and staff remain committed to continuing to flesh out the vision outlined in the More than a Museum campaign and our recently completed strategic framework. I strongly believe that there are enough exciting ideas and ambition in those documents to animate the Walker for years. For example, in the strategic plan, the board and staff cited the following long-term goals:
  1. to both promote artists' creativity and use it as a platform for furthering the Walker's connection with its audiences;
  2. to broaden, deepen, and diversify the Walker's engagement with audiences to create a vibrant public gathering place;
  3. to align earned, contributed, and endowment income with our mission, aspirations, and operations;
  4. to preserve stability and our core values while managing organizational change.
In thinking about the institution's goals for the coming year, I realize that most have to do with managing the rather predictable ups and downs surrounding change. While the turbulence may have been expected, it's not easy to tame. Everyone affiliated with the Walker has been running at a frantic pace, and I believe a period of greater reflection is essential for us all. Right now, we're evaluating what we've done and what we're doing so that we can continue to deliver on our promises to the community and to the international field. In short, we need to learn to play the extraordinary instrument we've built in order to derive maximum expressiveness with maximum efficiency from it.

For the moment, it feels good to just breathe deeply and simply celebrate what a miracle more than 1,400 individuals, corporations, and foundations created together. This truly was a collective achievement; I even surprised myself in learning how much I enjoyed asking friends and sometimes strangers to support the project, because it gave me so many opportunities to tell the multiple stories that make the Walker such a singular institution. What other art center, for example, can claim to serve teens as well as the most progressive practitioners in the visual, performing, and media arts? I know that the expansion has provided an opportunity for many of us to remember why we are engaged with the Walker and why we have given generously to keep it as an international beacon: it's because we offer the world an institution that demonstrates how compassion and excellence are linked; it's because we embrace risks when others choose a more conventional course; and it's because we delight in ways that artists change how we see the world and introduce us to values other than our own. It's because we believe, together, that we can make a difference and make our community even better.

Kathy Halbreich, Director