Running a museum takes a whole team of professionals whose different skills help make the Rubin Museum of Art one of the premiere places to visit. To get to know us a little more, and to explore different careers in the arts, each month we will be asking a Museum staffer/intern to answer six questions about their position at the Museum, their favorite artworks or exhibitions on display in the museum and other personal attributes. As the eighth installment of we’re going to be introduced to Ivy Fuld, Assistant Manager of Individual Giving!
RMA: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do at the Rubin Museum.
My name is Ivy Fuld, and I’m Assistant Manager of Individual Giving here at the Museum. My job entails everything from helping plan the Museum’s annual Nine Rivers Gala (which hosts around 400 people and is the Rubin’s largest fundraiser!) to communicating with potential donors about upcoming exhibitions they might be interested in supporting, to even plain old data entry. I do A LOT of emailing, some creative writing, and can often be found purchasing snacks and cards for the many many staff Birthdays we always have. Mainly I am a first point of contact for anyone who is interested in supporting the museum in a way outside of Membership. Friendliness and ease of communicating with new people is crucial.
RMA: Where are you originally from and how did you end up at the Rubin Museum?
I was born and raised in Westchester, NY, and spent most of my childhood and teen years dreaming about how I would one day live and work in the “big city.” Those dreams came true, but a little backwards. I went to Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, and studied fine arts and communication design. When I left I knew I was interested in the Arts non-profit world, and actively pursued becoming a part of that culture. My first major job out of college was working for the Jacob Burns Film Center (also in fundraising development) in Pleasantville, NY. Though I was working in Westchester, I jumped at the chance to get an apartment in Brooklyn first chance I got, and spent the better part of two years reverse commuting. Eventually that got fairly tiresome, and I began to look for opportunities to work where I actually lived. It was fate that at just around that time, the Rubin was looking for someone in Individual Giving. Almost 3 and half years later, it’s worked out pretty well!
RMA: What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on at the Museum?
As I mentioned, I am part of the team that manages producing the Museum’s annual Gala fundraiser, and planning for this large-scale event takes up a great deal of my time! In addition we are getting a new giving program off the ground for people interested in giving annually to support all of the Museum’s many exhibitions. This new group will take a lot of cultivation, but ultimately we hope it’ll be a great way for people to give that are most interested in the art we showcase.
RMA: Out of all the current exhibitions at the Rubin Museum, which one is your favorite?
I really love Living Shrines of Uyghur China, a photography installation by Lisa Ross. Apart from the meaning behind the pieces, I am in love with the colors and the compositions of each piece. If I could, I would have one by my desk, so I could look at it every day. The show is coming down in early July, so you better see it while you can!
RMA: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to follow the same career path?
I would definitely recommend trying to get an internship in the field first! I had couple of great internships prior to my first real job, and people are so happy to see you have put in the effort and time to gain experience. Internships can certainly be a mixed bag, but they definitely help with boosting your resume. Supreme organization, ability to multi-task, and being detail-oriented aren’t just buzz words! They are crucial for success at any administrative job. But the most important thing for development specifically is you have to love communicating with new people. You have to be able to start a conversation with a total stranger, and make it feel comfortable for them! If you can nail that, you’re all set!
RMA: What do you do when you’re not at the Rubin Museum?
I freelance as a graphic and web designer in my spare time (when I can!). Currently I am teaching myself, and learning through others, the art of web coding, and absolutely loving it! I also love to bake, and paint my nails at least twice a week. I have a silly nail blog here where I post all of my attempts at mini-paintings.
RMA: If you could travel anywhere in the Himalayas where would you go and why?
I am really dying to go to Nepal! One of my good friends just came back from an adventure there with her husband, and the best words they could use to describe it were “life-changing,” and “magical.” You can’t beat that recommendation.