Danny Shelton: Building cultural connections

Photo: Burke Museum
Photo: Burke Museum
April 29, 2015 | Burke Museum

University of Washington student and Husky football player Danny Shelton is a familiar face at the Burke Museum. As a student he completed several independent study courses at the Burke with Holly Barker, curator of Oceanic and Asian culture, building a stronger connection to his heritage in the process. During that time, Danny became an inspiration for his fellow classmates, encouraging them to utilize the Museum for their own cultural research and leading lessons about Polynesian culture for K-12 students at the Burke and beyond.

An article about Danny’s journey appeared in yesterday's Seattle Times. In the article, Holly said she's "proud of how [Danny] opened the museum's doors for many of his UW teammates, particularly the tight knit Polynesian players, to follow through on his work there." And she is proud. We all are!

As Danny prepares for the NFL draft tomorrow night in Chicago, we want to celebrate his time at the Burke and honor him for the work he’s done and the doors he’s helped open for so many others seeking connections to their cultural heritage.

The following is an excerpt from the introduction Holly gave Danny as the honored guest at our Curators Dinner this past Friday evening. 

We honor Danny for the many facets we have all come to know and love during his time at the Burke—attributes beyond his outstanding career as a Husky football player.

At the Burke, we honor...

Lastly, we honor Danny the Humble, who uses his spotlight to make us laugh, to challenge us to think about critical social issues like domestic violence or child abuse, who respects and values his culture and who inspires each of us to reach out to the person next to us to explore our shared potential.

Not only do we honor you, Danny, but we love you!