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A museum in Five Points celebrates Black culture while preserving the past

The Culture Museum hopes to help bring back Black-owned businesses to a neighborhood affected by gentrification.

DENVER — A new immersive pop-up art museum that celebrates iconic moments in Black culture has visitors in downtown Denver learning more about the Five Points neighborhood. The temporary exhibit called “The Culture Museum” has been open for about a month and hopes to serve as a space for Black Coloradans in a neighborhood that’s experiencing gentrification.

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“It has changed so much,” said museum co-founder Charlie Billingsley. “It’s been unrecognizable, so it’s been amazing to try to bring the pieces of the culture back together in this area.”

Credit: Byron Reed
Charlie Billingsley, co-founder of The Culture Museum

The museum features 10 local artists sharing their experiences through interactive exhibits like a replica Wu-Tang recording studio and a 90s cartoon room. Billingsley said it’s an art space trying to make a difference.

Credit: Byron Reed

“I think it’s very important to bring back minority-owned spaces in this area,” she said. “It was important for us to bring the community back together and build trust in the community and I think an important way to do that is to do things that we’re connected to.”

Credit: Byron Reed

The new space celebrates Black Americans' experiences and Billingsley said she hopes to preserve the history of the neighborhood.

“The point of having a selfie museum is to have an experience and also to be able to learn at the same time,” she said. “Not just walking around seeing the art, but actually being able to touch and feel and interact with it and take pictures with it and be part of it and actually be a part of history.”

Credit: The Culture Museum

The temporary museum will be open until mid-March and Billingsley already has future plans for the space.

“(I want to) actually start adding Black-owned businesses in this space to start selling their products and services,” she said.

Billingsley said she wants to make sure everyone in the community feels supported by creating a space making its own history, in a neighborhood with a past.

Credit: Byron Reed

“I think they’ll walk away with a sense of togetherness, a sense of that the community and the culture is still here and that we can continue building that,” she said.

For more information about The Culture Museum, click here.

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