January 11th, 2024 Denver Post Denver Art Museum workers will form union to combat wage, safety concerns

January 11th, 2024 Denverite Denver Art Museum workers want to form a union. Here’s why they say they need one

January 11th, 2024 Artnet Workers at the Denver Art Museum Are Unionizing for Better Pay and Workplace Protections

January 12th, 2024 The Art Newspaper Denver Art Museum workers launch campaign to form union

January 24th, 2024 Hyperallergic Denver Art Museum Workers Move to Unionize

January 31st, 2024 Colarado Sun Denver Art Museum workers will vote on a union in March. Here are the details.

March 7th, 2024 Denver Business Journal Denver Art Museum staffers vote to join union amid accusations of labor law violations

March 7th, 2024 Denverite Denver Art Museum workers vote to unionize

March 8th, 2024 The Art Newspaper Denver Art Museum workers vote to form a union, a first for an art museum in Colorado

March 8th, 2024 The Denver Post Majority of Denver Art Museum workers vote to unionize



Mar. 7, 2024 

Contact: Andrew Fernandez 
[email protected]  

Workers at the Denver Art Museum Win Historic Union Election 
Denver Art Museum Workers United prevails in a 120 – 59 vote despite intense anti-union campaign

Denver, CO Workers at the Denver Art Museum officially won their union election today with a supermajority of  67% voting to unionize with AFSCME Council 18, making it the first unionized art museum in Colorado. Workers announced their union campaign in January and have since endured an intense anti-union campaign carried out by upper management, resulting in more than a dozen Unfair Labor Practice charges being filed by AFSCME on behalf of workers. Now, the over 200 DAM workers from every department will have a voice to advocate for a culture at the museum that prioritizes employee and visitor experience over revenue.  

"We worked so hard to win our union” said Trudy Lovato, a gallery host at the DAM. “One of the best things about this process has been hearing from people in various departments, and learning about their expertise, skills, and concerns. I look forward to working together to build a workplace that creates an environment of mutual respect, and every member feeling as valued as they deserve." 

Kit Bernal, a curatorial assistant and DAMWU member emphasized the power of solidarity across departments. “Our wall-to-wall union recognizes the importance of all of us in making the museum a place where art connects, inspires, and empowers,” Bernal said. “I am so honored to get to work with all of my incredible colleagues across the bargaining unit and the museum to build a better present and future for the DAM.” 

Now, workers will shift their focus to a contract campaign which will seek to address issues like adequate staffing, career advancement, a fair disciplinary process, and wages that account for experience, tenure, and continuing inflation. 

Denver Art Museum Workers United is now part of AFSCME Cultural Workers United, a national movement of cultural workers at libraries, museums and zoos across the country joining together to negotiate for better pay, working conditions, demand equity and fight for transparency in our workplaces. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 11, 2024 

Contact: Andrew Fernandez 
[email protected]  

Workers at Denver Art Museum announce union campaign Denver Art Museum Workers United would become the first museum union in Denver

DENVER – Today, a supermajority of around 250 workers at the Denver Art Museum announced their intent to form a union with AFSCME Council 18, joining a wave of organizing that is taking place across the country’s cultural sector. According to a letter circulated among workers, Denver Art Museum Workers United (DAMWU) seeks to ensure all employees earn living wages, improve transparency from management and create better safety procedures, among other issues.

For Trudy Lovato, who works as a gallery host, improving wages for workers is a top priority.

“Denver is a growing city where the cost of living has skyrocketed. Our wages don’t reflect that,” said Lovato.

She believes this is unacceptable for an institution that, according to its stated values, aims to empower people and communities.

“In forming our union, I hope to see the museum live up to its potential of being an amazing place to work and play,” Lovato said.

Transparency and communication were also key issues for workers.

Tei Iuga, a creative and public engagement associate, said, “For our museum to fully realize its potential and truly act as a public good, it has to operate democratically and with accountability to staff and the public.”

She said that training around safety issues has been unclear and sometimes does not even happen at all.

“A union will make the museum better for everyone — not just for employees, but for the public too,” Iuga said.

Workers officially notified management of their intention to organize at an all staff meeting this morning. They intentionally chose Jan. 11 as the day to announce their union campaign in honor of labor history in Colorado and beyond. This year marks the 110th anniversary of the Ludlow Massacre and Jan. 11, 1912, was the first day of the historic Lawrence Textile Mill Strike (also called the Bread & Roses Strike).

Now, management must respond to workers' request for voluntary recognition of their union. According to DAMWU, the union has already achieved supermajority support among staff. Workers say if the museum truly respects their voices, management will recognize their union instead of forcing them to go through an election that would draw out the process and waste taxpayer money.

Other unions that have received voluntary recognition in the cultural and nonprofit sectors are Academy Museum Workers United in Los Angeles, as well as at Denver cultural institutions the Meow Wolf Workers Collective and nonprofits like the ACLU of Colorado Workers United.

For updates on Denver Art Museum Workers United visit or follow @DAMWorkersUnited on Instagram.