Denver Art Museum volunteer Sharon Rouse says she was “overwhelmed, intimidated, thrilled, and excited” when she was told that she would be receiving the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award in recognition of her 33 years of volunteer work with the DAM. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock proclaimed June 26 “Sharon Rouse Day” in honor of Sharon’s amazing contributions.
Sharon joined the museum’s Volunteer Docent Program in 1981, providing educational tours for museum visitors. She also tied in her passion for museum education as an art educator at Graland Country Day School. She brought the community into her classroom through museum programs and her “Friends of Art Picture Program.”
As an artist and a teacher, Sharon has used her skills at the museum giving tours, running art camps, teaching watercolor techniques to adults, developing the museum’s Artful Literacy program, and mentoring docents-in-training. Sharon has proven indispensable. And she even creates artistic floral arrangements for the museum entrances and special museum events as part of the DAM’s Volunteer Flower Council.
Now retired from teaching, she's continued to bring her enthusiasm and dedication to the museum as a full-time volunteer. “I get to play now,” she says. Her greatest joy is to interact with kids by helping them talk and write about what they see at the museum.
The Minoru Yasui Award honors volunteers who make unique contributions to the community. This award is accompanied with a $2,000 cash donation designated to a nonprofit agency of her choice. Sharon chose the Denver Art Museum’s Volunteer Endowment Fund, which supports future acquisitions of artwork for the museum. For Sharon, “The museum has been the greatest gift in the world.”