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Each Friday, Jade Packer sends a note to the whole Nasher Museum staff with recommendations for community arts events. She ads her favorite art picks to her Instagram stories. And of course she invites everyone to attend the events with her!

Jade’s most recent excursions include the opening event for Ella West Gallery with its inaugural exhibition, Return to Parrish Street: A Dream Realized, featuring the work of Kennedi Carter, Clarence Heyward and Ernie Barnes. The gallery is located at 104 W. Parrish Street, Durham.

She also brought colleagues to visit Surviving the Burn: Black Water Vernacular by Derrick Beasley at North Star Church of the Arts.


Both shows are very much rooted in the idea of fostering community. With the opening of Derrick Beasley’s exhibition at North Star Church of the Arts as well as the inaugural exhibition at Ella West Gallery, it is clear that the featured artists and curatorial teams were committed to utilizing the artwork as a catalyst for important conversations and community building.

Jade Packer, director of community initiatives at the Nasher Museum

As director of community initiatives at the Nasher Museum—a new position—Jade is interested in building and sustaining meaningful relationships and partnerships, with a focus on leaders and organizations that serve diverse communities in Durham.

Jade Packer came to the museum from PBS North Carolina’s education and innovation department. There she led strategic engagements, implementing a statewide ambassador program that increased PBS NC’s reach to underserved communities in all 100 counties. She earned a master’s degree in instructional technology at NC A&T State University and a bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

“The thing that I’m most excited about in stepping into this role is the opportunity to build lasting relationships with a broad range of community partners in Durham and beyond,” Jade said. “That is key for our museum in order to thrive, grow and connect with all types of people.”

Do you have an idea for a new community initiative with the Nasher Museum? Get in touch with Jade Packer.



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