We have brought on two new Membership team members in the past several weeks: Ana Aguayo is the new Membership Program Manager; and Hannah Nestor is the Membership Program Assistant. Emily Ironside, our former Membership Program Manager, was promoted to Development Officer. As these folks will be interacting quite a bit with our Members and guests, we want to give you the opportunity to meet them and learn a little bit about them. Today we present a short interview with Ana. Later, we’ll introduce Hannah to our blog readers, as well.
Ana has served as External Affairs Liaison in Governor Mike Beebe’s office with a focus on Hispanic outreach. She also worked for the Northwest Arkansas Workers’ Justice Center in a variety of roles including development, communication, and as interim Executive Director. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas in international relations and broadcast journalism. As Membership Program Manager, Ana will manage the overall strategies of Crystal Bridges’ membership program, including g acquisition and retention of Members, engagement, programs, communications, and data analysis.
What made you want to join the Crystal Bridges membership team? I was captivated by the opportunity to work with and learn from passionate individuals who truly believe in the cultural impact the Museum is having in Arkansas and in the nation. I believe that people are a great asset to this institution, and I knew coming into the Membership team that I would be in great hands.
What is your favorite artwork in the collection? My favorite artwork in the collection is Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter. I am fascinated by the beauty, the strength, and courage that Rockwell exemplifies through Rosie’s pose. I find this masterpiece to be inspiring because it recounts an important story, often untold, of women’s role in history. I was happy to read about women who have stepped out of conventional roles to support their families and their country. Rosie the Riveter stirs within me a sentiment of pride in the fact that women’s efforts were recognized, and it reminds me how versatile women truly are. In Latin America we have a saying that, “a man is the king of the household, but a woman is the crown, and without her he bears no title.” Rosie the Riveter reminds me of how far women have come and about the work that is yet to be done.
What are you looking forward to most in working with Crystal Bridges Members? I am looking forward to learning about our Members’ passions and their vision to sustain the beautiful gift that Crystal Bridges is to our community. I am ecstatic about connecting with the diverse composition of Crystal Bridges Members and learning what the Museum means to them.
What do you think is the greatest benefit to being a Member of Crystal Bridges? I believe it is the opportunity to receive C Magazine, the Member’s exclusive magazine that helps Members stay in the know, engage in programs, and get an in-depth glimpse at featured artworks. This is a great benefit to those who like to plan ahead of time and want to share the Museum with visiting family or friends.
Do you have any background or experience in the arts, yourself, as a hobby, perhaps? My artistic side is still in development. I truly enjoy the arts and every now and then will indulge myself in painting with friends. But my inquisitive nature wants to explore other art mediums to tell a story. Growing up I was fascinated by the artisanal pottery that my grandfather made in Mexico, and while I may not have his skill, I have come to the realization that art has a special place in my heart. In these thoughts, I am recalled to a partial childhood in Mexico, watching my grandfather spend long hours on artisanal pottery—from cantaros (water jugs) to mugs—embellishing them with beautiful colors and his love for embroidery. I learned patience and determination from watching him pour himself into his work.
What impact do you think Crystal Bridges has on NW Arkansas?I believe Crystal Bridges has a tremendous impact on NW Arkansas and the state because for the first time, those that have grown up without the opportunity experience great works of art don’t have to travel hours to immerse themselves in some of the world’s masterpieces. The aesthetic balance that Crystal Bridges generates through weaving together art, nature, and architecture is what I believe makes this a special place for reflection and growth. I see Crystal Bridges growing as a place of convergence where diverse thoughts, histories, and experiences are shared through a love for the arts.
You have worked in Governor Mike Beebe’s office: how do you feel that experience will help inform your approach to membership at Crystal Bridges? Working for Governor Mike Beebe’s office gave me the opportunity to travel, connect, and build relationships with the diverse communities in Arkansas. I truly enjoyed meeting folks from all walks of life, be they Arkansans born and raised, or folks that fell in love with the state and relocated. In my capacity as External Affairs Liaison, I focused on building community relations, which meant being an attentive listener, striving to address concerns, and recognizing opportunities for collaboration with different organizations, business, and most importantly families. I quickly fell in love with the richness of diversity that Arkansas holds; the history of what makes us unique; and the developments that are moving us forward. I realized that bringing people together, creating bridges of communication, and working toward building inclusive spaces was a passion of mine. I believe this skill set applies to my new role at Crystal Bridges, working with passionate individuals to continue to make the Museum a warm and welcoming place for all.