I’m writing to apologize. Our failure to communicate clearly and openly about the postponement of Treasured Ornament hurt people we deeply respect in the Muslim community, Jewish community, arts community, and beyond.
There are no excuses for what I said, regardless of my intentions. My words gave the offensive and utterly wrong impression that I equated Islam with terrorism and that I saw Jews and Muslims—communities with millennia of peaceful interconnection—as fundamentally opposed.
My failure to tell it straight from the beginning undermined trust in our organization and had the effect of retraumatizing people who were beginning to perceive the Frick as a psychologically safe space for people who hadn’t previously felt welcome here, including the communities of color we have tried earnestly to welcome.
In recent days, I have been humbled by the grace and human kindness of so many people, including leaders in our region’s Muslim community, who have reframed this moment as an opportunity for us to learn and grow, and expressed interest in working together to promote inclusivity and understanding in our community.
Today, I want to make public my and the Frick’s commitment to hold ourselves accountable to repair the relationships we damaged and earn back the trust we have lost. We will keep you informed of our work as we undertake it.