The Denver Art Museum (DAM) will honor Jana and Fred Bartlit for their visionary leadership and unwavering support of arts education and museum programming at its 39th annual Collectors’ Choice gala on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Denver. Collectors’ Choice is the museum’s annual fundraising event that attracts business and community leaders, including trustees and museum patrons.
In honor of the Bartlits’ recent commitment of $10 million to support the museum’s future North Building Learning and Engagement Center, funds raised at this year’s gala will benefit the museum’s Education Endowment, ensuring a continued legacy of creative and engaging programming at the DAM.
“We are honored and incredibly grateful for Jana and Fred Bartlit’s steadfast support and leadership work at the museum since the early 2000s,” said Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM. “In the spirit of the Bartlits’ generous underwriting of the Learning and Engagement Center, currently under construction, this year’s Collectors’ Choice gala will celebrate the creativity and community that this incredible new space will inspire.”
As early as 2002, Jana and Fred Bartlit’s dedication to the DAM has centered on their passion for acquisitions, conservation and arts education, starting with their commission of Beverly Pepper’s landmark Denver Monoliths sculpture located next to Martin Plaza outside the museum’s Hamilton Building. The Bartlits also generously contributed $2 million to the Hamilton Building campaign in support of the level three Bartlit Sculpture Deck.
Their enthusiastic and early support enabled the inception and planning of ambitious presentations such as Becoming Van Gogh, Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective and the museum’s first thematic cross-departmental exhibition, Marvelous Mud: Clay Around the World.
From specific commissioned artwork to underwriting the future home of the museum’s nationally recognized Learning and Engagement initiatives, the Bartlits have helped shape the DAM and continue to do so, allowing the museum to have a significant impact on the community and present world-class art in an inclusive and inspiring way.
Jana Bartlit joined the Denver Art Museum Board of Trustees in 2003, at the same time that she began her tenure on the museum’s Collections Committee. In the years that followed, her involvement expanded as she took on a leadership role as chair of the Conservation Advisory Committee.
“Jana’s passions and philanthropic focus are reflected strongly in her participation as vice chair of the museum’s Education Committee. I am delighted that this year’s Collectors’ Choice will support one of Jana’s loves in perpetuity,” said Lanny Martin, chairman of the museum’s board of trustees.
The Bartlits’ support of the arts in Denver extends beyond the DAM, and the couple made a generous contribution to establish the Clyfford Still Museum in the heart of Denver’s Golden Triangle neighborhood.
In addition to incredible engagement with the museum, Jana also is dedicated to the animal welfare organization Dumb Friends League (DFL) as a longtime supporter and lifetime member of the Board of Directors. Lulu’s BBQ, the DFL annual fundraiser, is generously hosted every year by the Bartlits and named after their beloved dog.
Fred Bartlit, co-founder of Denver/Chicago-based Bartlit Beck LLP, has both a regional and national standing as a pillar in the U.S. legal community. Parallel to his successful legal career is his notable commitment to health and fitness, which was the subject of the 2018 book, Choosing the Strong Path, he co-authored with Steven Droullard and Dr. Marni Boppart.
According to Fred, he and Jana are “a unique two-person team—we do everything together." The Bartlits’ influential work in the community over their 30-plus years of marriage is driven by this steadfast passion and partnership.
The Bartlits will be supported by Collectors’ Choice 39 event co-chairs Cathey and Richard Finlon, Arlene and Barry Hirschfeld, Sharon and Lanny Martin and LeAnn and Robert Morrill. Gala tables start at $10,000 and pairs of seats at $2,500. Event capacity is limited; interested parties can contact Lizzie Terry Dolan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-913-0069.
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The Denver Art Museum
The Denver Art Museum is an educational, nonprofit resource that sparks creative thinking and expression through transformative experiences with art. Its holdings reflect the city and region—and provide invaluable ways for the community to learn about cultures from around the world. Metro citizens support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD), a unique funding source serving hundreds of metro Denver arts, culture and scientific organizations. For museum information, call 720-865-5000 or visit www.denverartmuseum.org.Download PDF of press release.