On Nora Burnett Adams’ Radar

What the Museum of Contemporary Art Director is reading, watching, and listening to.

Authored by Sarah Ji-Mei Lofgren

Courtesy Museum of Contemporary Art


I love a great story and anything harder to find or hidden, whether that’s a book, a show, or a work of art. I’m drawn to gripping, relatable, compelling storytelling. Many artists in Denver are doing great work, including From the Hip Photo. We have the Octopus Initiative to support and commision works, the way a public library does, so that people can live with art like this for a period of time.


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I just read Normal People by Sally Rooney. It’s a novel about two friends who live in Ireland. I go between substantive magazines, like the New Yorker and the Atlantic, and novels. I enjoy learning different perspectives on how characters understand and relate to issues of today. How do they approach problems that we all can relate to?


I love suspenseful shows. Killing Eve, the Hulu series with Sandra Oh, is really fantastic, with very strong, smart, and unusual female characters. I loved the Netflix comedy series Friends from College, which I thought was clever, witty, and fun, but it was cancelled after two seasons. And I love mysteries like the British drama series Broadchurch.


Music is great for unwinding and relaxing. I think I’m at my calmest when exercising. Classic, early- and mid-‘90s hip-hop is my go-to music genre for workouts. It always gets me in the right headspace to be fully present and grit out a tough workout— and get through it quickly! I also really enjoy Nathaniel Rateliff.


I love the movie Booksmart, a coming-of age female buddy story. Movies like that start with humble stories, but when they’re done well become engrossing and riveting. There’s also a movie about Fox News’s Roger Ailes and Megyn Kelly called Bombshell that I’m curious about. The cast includes Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, and John Lithgow.

Nora Burnett Abrams was named director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in August, after 10 years as a curator. She and her husband, Brian, live in Wash Park and keep busy playing with their two children.