Have resumes and cover letters become your (least) favorite new hobby? Times are tough out there for recent graduates and young professionals – competition is fierce and you can’t be an intern forever. Â In our new blog series, So you want toâ€¦, our museum staff offers advice and inspiration for pursuing an arts career. Donâ€™t worry– all those applications will eventually turn into an interview!
A native of Washington DC, Katherine Myers has worked as Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the past fourteen years. In December, she will return to her alma mater as Director of Donor Relations at Williams College Museum of Art.
What is the best career advice you ever received?
When I was just out of college I whined to my dad, â€śI just want to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.â€ť Instead of telling me to stop whining (as he should have) he said, â€śRelax, Iâ€™m 60 years old and I still donâ€™t know what I want to be when I grow up.â€ťÂ At 49, Iâ€™m still not sure.
What was a formative art experience for you as a young person?
When I was about seven, I discovered the Rococo rooms at the National Gallery (in Washington). There was a cushy couch, facing the Fragonard painting â€śThe Swing.â€ťÂ Even into high school I would park myself there and daydream about being in that painting. That made me want to work in a museum and I was so happy when MASS MoCA installed the swings under the overpass!
What is the biggest shift you have witnessed in the museum field?
I think museums have been forced to take themselves less seriously.Â People can connect with an institution in so many different ways. We have to embrace that. Itâ€™s great to watch museums who are having fun and welcoming everyone across many platforms.
What is your favorite social media platform or current web obsession?
If you could work in any other field, what would it be? Why?
If I could not only work in another field but also be gifted with some talent, Iâ€™d want to be a product designer or engineer. I get the greatest satisfaction in life when I figure out how to make things work or craft a better solution. I appreciate good user-focused design.
Fill in the blank: The future of the arts depends on finding sustainable ways of funding.