“Art, Identity, and the Changing Narrative about Latinos” Speaker Feature: Cayetana S. Gomez

Born and raised in Mexico City, Cayetana S. Gomez has great love and pride for her Mexican heritage. Raised by a mother working at The National Museum of Anthropology for almost 30 years, it was second-nature for Gomez to work in museums. She received a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the Universidad del Nuevo Mundo in Mexico City, and a Master of Administration in Public Relations from the Universidad Iberoamericana, also in Mexico City.
Before being hired as president and CEO for The Mexican Museum, Gomez was director of public relations and fundraising for the Museo de Memoria y Tolerencia in Mexico City, a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading the importance of tolerance, nonviolence, and human rights. She also served as the managing director of the museum during its inaugural year, a role she also held for the Museo Morelense de Arte Popular in Cuernavaca, Mexico. In addition, Gómez served as assistant to the president for the Museo de la Cuidad de Mexico in Mexico City, and as public relations manager for TV Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Mexico’s premier cultural television channel. Her past experience also includes extensive work in industrial design and merchandising, marketing, and media strategy.
In her new role as president and CEO of The Mexican Museum, Gómez will be charged with spearheading national and international fundraising efforts in order to secure endowments and funding from individuals, grants, foundations, and corporations in the U.S., Mexico, and Latin America for the New Building Capital Campaign, as well as for the sustainment and enrichment of the current Fort Mason Center location. She will supervise Museum staff as to the safeguarding, promotion, and expansion of The Mexican Museum’s permanent inventory of more than 16,500 objects – one of the world’s preeminent collections of Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, Popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican, Mexican-American, Latin American, Latino, and Chicano art. She will also be implementing the business and strategic plans for the cultural component of the 706 Mission Street Residential and Mexican Museum project, which will serve as the Museum’s future home in the heart of the Yerba Buena Gardens Art District.
Cayetana will be one of the featured speakers at our Annual Membership Meeting: “Art, Identity, and the Changing Narrative about Latinos.” We asked her to share some thoughts on this year’s theme. What brought you into the world of art? Can you explain how it drives you? I was fortunate that I was born in Mexico City. My mother worked for almost 30 years in the Anthropology Museum of Mexico City. It is one of the most wonderful and interesting museums in the world. Ever since then, art has been my driving force and inspiration. Through art I conceive the world. I feel that art is what makes human beings different from the rest of creation. It’s our divine root and essence. How have you seen art play a role in the Latino community? In particular, how has art provided Latinos an opportunity to explore and define identity? For me, being Latino is being fully alive and connected. Art has occupied a very important role in the Latino Community. Art has been, and will always be, a very successful way of communicating where beauty and truth are one and the same. Through art the Latino community has expressed not only the beauty but also the injustice, the oppression, and the sacrifices of our people in different moments through time. As a curator of art, how have you seen art impact and evolve the narrative around Latinos? What changes have you seen? I think that art has been an essential part of the Latino identity. It is also a great pride; it dignifies our culture with such force. I’ve seen an ongoing evolution of art and at the same time of life itself inside and outside the Latino community. It is a great inspiration. I think that, through art and culture, a society is transformed. How have funders helped increase the impact of the art you have exhibited? What are key insights that funders need to know in order to make their decisions about supporting and enduring the impact of Latino arts? Our funders have seen and experienced that force and want to be a part of it. Helping fund art and cultural projects is a very effective way to make a difference. What are key insights that funders need to know in order to make their decisions about supporting and enduring the impact of Latino arts? The very first impact of art can be manifested through the feeling of being moved by color, by the movement that art inevitably creates, and the unknown direction that can change our perspective. When our point of view expands towards our connection with each other, art has already made a big impact.
Don’t miss your chance to meet Cayetana S. Gomez. Register now for “Art, Identity, and the Changing Narrative about Latinos.”
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