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I have extensive experience in communicating information and ideas to a broad range of audiences in a variety of forms, including publications, advertising, websites, exhibitions, and photography. Working as a member of both large and small collaborative teams I have developed a high degree of communication ability—in both content and visual presentation—as well as diplomacy and management skills. In addition to my experience in communications and marketing, I also have a strong background in contemporary art, design, art history, art education, and architecture.
Overview of Employment
I recently completed working as a contract editor and project coordinator for Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on the catalogue for Nick Cave: Meet Me at the Center of the Earth, and provided the same services for their recent Bay Area Now 5 catalogue; and a curatorial project for Mills College for an installation of art works from the collection for the President's house. From November 2007 through September 2008 I worked as a communications and marketing consultant for the Magnes Museum in Berkeley. From January 2001 through August 2007 I was the assistant director, associate director, and director of marketing and communications at San Francisco Art Institute. Prior to SFAI, I worked from April 1978 to January 1999 at the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive as a designer and then as head of installation and design; and from September 1975 to March 1978 I worked first as a preparator and then as the assistant exhibition designer at The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. I have also done freelance work for a number of Bay Area museums and galleries, as well as the San Francisco Public Library.
During my twenty+ years at BAM/PFA I oversaw large, complex multi-year projects, and I supervised between five and fifteen full- and part-time employees. At various times, I was—in addition to Installation and Design—also in charge of the departments of Collection Management, IT, Marketing, Public Relations, and Registration. I curated three original exhibitions—Hiroshi Sugimoto, Walter Hood, and Photographs from the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari—and was curator-in-charge for a number of traveling exhibitions organized by curators from other museums. Among these were Saarinen in Finland (Markku Komonen and Marika Hausen for the Museum of Finnish Architecture), The Critical Edge: Controversy in Recent American Architecture (Todd Marder and Jeffrey Wechsler for the Jane Vorhees Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers), and Urban Revisions (Elizabeth Smith for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles).
We used the presentation of Urban Revisions in 1995 as part of a larger strategy to expand the knowledge and awareness of architecture and urban planning within the local community in preparation for building the new museum, and also as a way to engage new audiences. In addition to the exhibition, I worked with UC Berkeley, the City of Berkeley, and others to develop a number of concurrent community-based programs and satellite exhibitions. Among these were: an interactive display on Berkeley's master plan update to elicit community input; an exhibition of innovative designs for Oakland neighborhood parks by Walter Hood; Revisioning Southside/Telegraph, an installation of maps of the area and photographs of key sites, on which visitors could present their ideas for improving the common city–university ground; a UC graduate seminar in the College of Environmental Design I taught to train students as docents for the exhibitions; and Thursday evening public sessions on local land use projects and issues, led by community groups such as the Greenbelt Alliance.
For two years I was in charge of marketing and advertising for BAM/PFA. I developed (and designed) print and transit advertising campaigns for exhibitions, with the specific goal of increasing cross-over attendance of gallery and film audiences. I also developed and helped implement other forms of targeted outreach to specific groups, such as UC students, East Bay residents outside of Berkeley, prospective donors, local high schools, and residents of Berkeley’s Southside neighborhood. During this two-year period the average weekly attendance increased tenfold, from about 250 paying visitors and 5 UCB students to over 2500 paying visitors and 100 UCB students. I wrote successful grants to Apple for a two-year loan of twenty computers that led to museum-wide computerization; to the National Endowment for the Humanities for collections inventory and a second grant for collection storage improvements; and to a private foundation in Chicago for support of public programs in conjunction with the exhibition Urban Revisions. During my last year at the museum, I worked closely with the museum director, staff, and trustees to develop the program requirements for a new building, and organized a design competition to further develop concepts and support for the project from donors, the university, and the community.
In January 2001 I was hired as Assistant Director of Communications at my alma mater, San Francisco Art Institute, where I worked until September 2007. I was promoted to Associate Director after the first year, and then to Director in 2003. I was responsible for overseeing all aspects of print publications, media relations, marketing, and the website, and wrote and managed budgets for special projects as well as the department. I supervised a staff of three full-time employees and also worked with outside contractors. In 2003 I initiated, developed, and executed the marketing and public relations campaign that became known as “re: invention.” For the first time SFAI committed substantial funds to actively promote the institution and its programs. We succeeded in overcoming an extremely negative perception of the school, both locally and nationally, and continued to build on that foundation for the next four years.
In Fall 2005 I wrote an extensive RFP for a new identity program for SFAI, and then worked closely with Base Design in New York on the implementation. My primary role was to facilitate (and mediate) the participation of the many constituencies of SFAI in the year-long process, and to give as many people as possible the opportunity to have an active and positive role in defining the institution. The new identity ended up being much more than a logo and graphics template; with the incorporation of dialogue as a major component, it is both a consistent and flexible means of presenting the complex and multifaceted nature of SFAI. The dialogue content is derived from recorded conversations I set up between students and faculty, faculty and visiting artists, alumni, donors, and from historic recordings of events in the Institute’s history.
During the six years I worked in marketing and communications at SFAI, I oversaw the design, development, and content of two new websites, and was in the planning phase of a third iteration when I left. Each year I managed, art directed, and also wrote and/or edited content for the annual SFAI admissions catalogue, as well as 30-50 other publications for prospective students, current students, alumni, donors, and SFAI exhibitions. I also developed integrated marketing plans and coordinated the advertising, promotional items, and direct mail campaigns in support of enrollment, membership, and alumni outreach, working with staff as well as outside consultants and vendors. I initiated and coordinated the production of podcasts of visiting artist lectures, available through iTunes and on the SFAI website, as a way of extending (and promoting) the educational mission of the school beyond the campus. I made significant changes to the format and content of the weekly e-mail newsletter (sent out to a list of 30,000+), which became the primary source of current information for and about the school and alumni, as well as serving as an effective marketing tool. I also did extensive research and writing on the history of the school, alumni, and the campus architecture for use in a number of SFAI publications and on the website. I worked closely with the president of the school on his communications to SFAI students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and prospective students and their parents, as well as the broader community.
In November of 2007 I was hired as a part-time marketing and communications consultant to the Magnes Museum in Berkeley. I began with an institutional assessment, in which I reviewed and evaluated recent marketing and communications material, program plans, and development goals and strategies as they related to advertising, public relations, Campaign rollout, web development, membership and development campaigns, strategic partnerships, and promotional events. Using information drawn from the assessment, I then wrote an integrated marketing plan, and made use of shared Google Docs spread sheets to coordinate information and timelines among staff and the contract designer. I served as the primary liaison with advertising reps; wrote press releases, advertising copy, and PSAs. I edited, proofread, and advised on the look-and-feel for all material for print. I conceived, edited, and art-directed a new institutional brochure, as well as the targeted distribution strategy for it. I provided the content concept and production outline for a new Development newsletter, and coordinated increased online and e-mail postings of events and programs, including the addition of a Magnes Facebook page and the use of other social networking sites. I reviewed and updated existing Magnes contact lists and created new, targeted contact lists for Bay Area academic colleagues and arts media. I worked with Magnes staff and their contractors to develop and implement a new website, using information drawn from the assessment interviews, the technical requirements of their new collection database software, and their desire to more fully embrace the features of Web 2.0. I also helped develop an online survey (using SurveyMonkey) to elicit feedback from museum members, as well as researchers using the museum’s archives, about their interests and expectations of the website’s functionality; and worked with the director and contract designer to set up a blog for the director. I mediated the transition from an older institutional graphic identity to a new one designed by Pentagram for their capital campaign, including preparing an inventory of materials and timeline for updating. I also advised the staff on strategic partnerships with other organizations, and worked with them to increase their understanding of the potential of scheduled events and projects for PR and marketing as well as donor cultivation.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (1970-1971)
San Francisco Art Institute, BFA 1974
January 2001–August 2007
April 1978–January 1999
Asian Art Museum
Summary of Skills
Communications and Marketing