by Victor Crosetti (MA, 2015)
Editor’s note: For this installment of Alumni Connect we interviewed Victor Crosetti (MA, 2015). Victor serves as Membership Coordinator for BAMPFA, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. –MS
USF Museum Studies Blog: Tell us something about BAMPFA.
Victor: The UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is the visual arts center of the University of California, Berkeley. BAMPFA offers one of the most distinguished and provocative programs of art and film exhibitions in North America, reflecting the diverse interests of the University and Bay Area communities. In January 2016, BAMPFA moved to its new home in downtown Berkeley and since then has attracted more than 200,000 visitors to take advantage of its incredible new programming in its first year. Our exhibition Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the Summer of Love, diving into the art, architecture, and fashion that influenced the counterculture movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Hippie Modernism received critical acclaim from many local and national news outlets. If you haven’t been to the new BAMPFA, you’re missing out on all the activity of Berkeley’s vibrant arts hub!
USF Museum Studies Blog: What is your role at BAMPFA and how do you believe it advances the mission?
Victor: BAMPFA’s mission is to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film, engaging audiences from the UC Berkeley campus, the Bay Area, and beyond. As BAMPFA’s membership coordinator I am involved with managing its general membership base and ensuring that our new and renewing members have access to the best of our art and film programs. I collaborate with our amazing art and film departments to develop compelling programming to attract and inspire our members. I’ve also worked with our direct mail consultant our membership consultant, Gina Tan, to create several exciting membership and annual fund appeals to bring increased exposure and support to BAMPFA’s diverse set of programs. Our most recent appeals brought in over $20,000 of unrestricted funds. I also work closely with our communications department to develop exciting member communications and promotions. Overall, I am able to realize BAMPFA’s mission by attracting and retaining people to engage in dialogue at BAMPFA through art and film.
USF Museum Studies Blog: What is a fun project that you’ve worked on in the past year?
Victor: Where do I begin? Since I started at BAMPFA, I’ve had the opportunity to work on several unique projects. I’ve learned a lot from its dynamic staff. This past March I spearheaded my first Member Appreciation Month at BAMPFA. One of my favorite events was the MFA Studio Tours at the Richmond Field Station. I really enjoyed collaborating with UC Berkeley’s Department of Art Practice to coordinate tours of the second year MFA students’ studios. It was amazing getting to share in their creative process while offering our members behind-the-scenes access to students’ studio spaces. Currently I am working with the UC Berkeley call center to execute a telemarketing appeal to recapture our lapsed members and raise funds for our spring annual fund. I worked on everything from script development to monitoring calls.Last month I helped staff develop a compelling script that the callers use to sell BAMPFA’s programs and experiences to our lapsed members.
USF Museum Studies Blog: How did the experience of writing your master’s capstone help inform the way you approach your work?
Victor: Working on my capstone prepared me to have a more methodical and detailed approach to planning and implementing projects at BAMPFA. Rather than thinking about how to start a project and worrying about its steps as they came along, my capstone gave me practical experience to think strategically about a project’s final outcome before I started. I also am now able to take into greater consideration the stakeholders involved in my work, whether they are other BAMPFA staff or museum members. I learned about the creative ways to insert a community’s voice into the museum, and believe that as a result I am a more sensitive and empathetic professional
USF Museum Studies Blog: How did your other studies at USF contribute to your career growth?
Victor: Although the program went by in the blink of an eye, there were so many things I learned at USF. My greatest takeaway is that I am now more aware of the many potential avenues possible for museums to transform and impact their communities. At the start of the program, I can now say that I have the knowledge and experience to responsibly steward an institution’s many resources—from its collection to its staff and members. In my internship course, I learned more about how to navigate interpersonal connections in the workplace and to prioritize using emotional intelligence to successfully develop collaborative relationships with my colleagues. I also grew as an administrator and have the basic financial knowledge to build and monitor a budget, which is a skill I think is critical to an entry level museum professional’s success.
USF Museum Studies Blog: What advice would you have for people who want to work in the museum field?
Victor: Never stop networking and do it intentionally. After immersing myself in my graduate studies, I realized how interconnected the museum field really is and found that I could leverage my extensive network to contribute to my ongoing professional growth in the field. I also encourage people interested in working for museums to have an openness towards learning about all facets ofthe museum world our organizations. Through my work at BAMPFA I’ve seen how the inter-connectedness between departments contributes to the organization’s overall success, and I take each learning opportunity as a chance to continue to grow professionally. Just recently, I got together with BAMPFA’s electronic communications manager to learn how to build emails using markdown, a language used to convert text to HTML. While this is work experience that I didn’t anticipate getting as membership coordinator, I know that being open to expanding my knowledge makes me a more well rounded museum professional.