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Introduce Yourself!

  • 1.  Introduce Yourself!

    Posted 07-21-2023 03:13 PM

    I am activating an Introduce Yourself thread!

    Please take a few minutes to share with us your role in the museum field, and some fun details about yourself by replying to this thread. Your reply can be as long or short as you want. My desire is that we get to know each other in the process. I look forward to "meeting" you online. 

    Don't know what to say? Feel free to pick from one of the areas below?

    Here are a few starters:

    • What is one of the top museums you've been to? What made it stand out?
    • What is your earliest memory of your role in the museum profession?
    • What was the best advice you've received in your career?
    • If you had unlimited funds, what would you do to advance the work of museums?
    • What is a trend you've seen that can provide an opportunity or challenge for the museum field?

    I will go first. I will post a short one here and a longer one in the comments. 

    My name is Grace Belizario and I am on staff with AAM. My official title is Senior Manager of Volunteer & Member Engagement. I am new in my role, having started in May. I am fortunate to have met some of our wonderful community members already and look forward to connecting with more of you.

    See that wasn't too scary! 

    PS: Don't forget to update your profile and photo. 

    Grace Belizario
    Senior Manager, Volunteer & Member Engagement
    American Alliance of Museums
    Arlington VA

  • 2.  RE: Introduce Yourself!

    Posted 07-21-2023 03:13 PM

    My name is Grace Belizario and I am on staff with AAM. My official title is Senior Manager of Volunteer & Member Engagement. I am new in my role, having started in May. I am fortunate to have met some of our wonderful community members at this year's Annual Meeting and look forward to getting to know more of you. 

    Before AAM, I supported the work of the Armed Services Arts Partnership (ASAP), where I led the nonprofits nation-wide programs, volunteers, instructors, partnerships, capacity-building initiatives, and supported the ongoing development of evidence-based research. I have 20 years of project, program, and event management experience, along with a rich communications background. I received my BFA from the Corcoran College of Art + Design prior to it becoming part of GMU. In my personal time I actively volunteer, engage in the performing and visual arts, hike regularly, read voraciously, and challenge myself with adventures or marathons.  

    Why did I choose to serve the museum community? My earliest memories have always involved museums and family togetherness. This month alone I have visited nearly a dozen museums (not work related). Later in life, I collaborated with museums to provide free programs for the community which provided new perspectives on the impact of museums on their local geographical areas. I am grateful that our institutions of history and culture provide everyone with the opportunity to be curious, challenge our thinking, have fun, and be engaged with others.

    Grace Belizario
    Senior Manager, Volunteer & Member Engagement
    American Alliance of Museums
    Arlington VA

  • 3.  RE: Introduce Yourself!

    Posted 07-24-2023 12:17 PM

    Hello all,

    I go by 'Art' (appropriate for all types of art museums :-)). I have worked with over 400 museums and other cultural institutions in the U.S. primarily (Also in Canada). Before founding my initial consulting firm for museums, I was an operator having opened, been the onsite full-time operator and operated the J.Paul Getty Museum (Villa) in Malibu and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMAP). My first museum client was the Phoenix Art Museum, Woody Spivey, Deputy Director. Woody was also president of the Western Museum Association and encouraged me to Exhibit at the AAM Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA at that time. Fast forward, I was exhibing at AAM Annual Meeting every year for almost 30-years and exhibiting at all the Museum Regional Conferences, and ASTC and AZA. I believed strongly to 'support the organizations' that support me.

    I sold the consulting business I founded above, in January 2016 and in late 2017 left the firm I founded and continued helping Museum clients that contacted me at Art Manask Consulting. I have mentored many consultants (some of which do not have the museum operating experience that I have) when asked. so others know what I know and can continue to provide high level support to museums when needed. When the pandemic hit us all very hard in 2019, I helped many clients figure out what to do with their visitor dining (cafes), catering for rental events and in some cases for the institution's store/retail operation including online presence.

    I co-published the first and only two reference works (books) in about 2002 and 2010 which AAM originally sold at the AAM Book Store since these are the only reference works (as far as i know) published and still available at Amazon (by searching Amazon with my last name. Many, many institutions' representatives, over the years of working with some of them and seeing many of the people at AAM Annual Meetings and when I was asked to come to and be a speaker for the Association of Art Museum Administrators in NJ, FL and CA at their annual meeting(s).

    I continue to work with some museums and help other consultants that work with museums and cultural institutions, oftentimes at no cost if a few questions on a call or in an email or a Zoom call (of which there have been many as you know I am sure the past 2-3 years.

    I am so pleased I chose to work with the museum community 30+ years ago. So many people have become good friends over the years for which I am very grateful and fortunate.

    Grace, thank you for starting this process. The museum community is the greatest and thank you to all that I/we have worked with over the years and look forward to continuing to hear and work with some of you.

    Very best wishes to all.

    Thank you.


    Art Manask
    Art Manask Consulting
    818 358-3588

  • 4.  RE: Introduce Yourself!

    Posted 07-25-2023 02:04 PM
    Edited by Lina Stephens 07-25-2023 02:05 PM

    Hello Art,

    I worked at the American Jazz Museum and I believe we had a meeting about our putting a restaurant in the museum.  You also mentioned that you were at the Getty, my uncle Richard Kinney was Director of Publications at the Getty in their new building...

    Small world, 

    Will circle back and provide a complete update.


    Lina Stephens
    Collections Manager
    Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

  • 5.  RE: Introduce Yourself!

    Posted 07-26-2023 11:55 AM

    Hi AAM colleagues! About 30 years ago I started my career as a civil litigator, representing mostly financial institutions. I was miserable. I didn't even know how much I could love practicing law until about 9 years ago, when I started representing museums. It is so rewarding assisting museums and other non-profits achieve their mission, and my museum clients are such a pleasure to work with.  Another passion of mine is animal welfare, and I volunteer as a Board Member and on an Advisory Council for 2 animal welfare non-profits in Texas.<o:p></o:p>

    My first memory of going to a museum was seeing the giant blue whale and dinosaurs at the National Museum of Natural History. My first memory of loving art was in the 80s, and I was into impressionists (especially Monet). At that time, I thought modern/abstract art was weird. Now, I love it! <o:p></o:p>

    Sharon Hotchkiss
    Hotchkiss Law Firm, PLLC
    Dallas TX