Statement from Bellevue Arts Museum’s Board of Trustees on Resignation of Executive Director

March 19, 2021

BELLEVUE, Wash. – March 19, 2021 – The Bellevue Arts Museum Board of Trustees has accepted the resignation of its executive director and chief curator, effective immediately, following artist and community concerns brought forward by guest curator, Tariqa Waters. The board is working closely with senior staff members on an interim leadership plan. On March 15, the Bellevue Arts Museum Board of Trustees’ leadership issued an apology to Waters and the artists of Yellow No. 5 for the regrettable experience they had while working with the Museum.

The events described in an open letter issued on March 15 do not align with or reflect our values as an artistic institution. Board leadership would again like to apologize to Ms. Waters and affirm that we have committed to responding to the requests made in the open letter.

We recognize that the change in leadership is only one part of a larger effort to build back trust and confidence with our curators, partners, artists, staff and community. We are committed to taking immediate and intentional steps to listen, learn and act so that we can do better and move forward together.

As we strive to create and sustain a culture where everyone feels welcomed, supported and included, we will regularly share public updates about the work of our Board’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee on our website, in addition to the immediate changes outlined in our March 15 public statement. We are determined to make progress, improve our systems, policies and practices, and cultivate an environment that is encouraging, safe and respectful for everyone.

We believe art heals. We can and must do better. We welcome your feedback and encourage you to contact the Museum with comments or questions through our new open communications channel