In our Q&A series, we profile members of the McNay staff to show a behind-the-scenes look at all the people who make the McNay what it is! Today’s post features Kate Carey, Head of Education.
What is your role at the McNay? Walk us through a typical day in your shoes.
As Head of Education, I get to collaborate with colleagues in a number of different departments–Curatorial, Development, PR & Marketing, Visitor Services, etc. In one meeting we might plan a performance at an exhibition opening, and in another meeting, we might brainstorm a great presenter for ArtFULL Wednesday or docent continuing education. Docents are volunteers who work with student and adult tour groups visiting the McNay. Honestly, docents might have the best job at the museum because they get to engage in conversations about works of art with each tour group.
What do you like to do outside of work? What are your favorite things to do and places to go in San Antonio?
Before I had kids, I didn’t think much about parks or splash pads. Now, I’m keenly aware of where these special places are. My daughters and I spend a fair amount of time at Landa Library near our house, Yanaguana Park near Hemisfair, and San Pedro Springs Park, the oldest park in Texas and second oldest in the US.
What has been your favorite exhibition at the McNay so far? Tell us why.
I’m always excited about what I’m working on in the present. This fall, we had a retrospective entitled Chuck Ramirez: All This and Heaven Too. A San Antonio artist who was just beginning to experience more national attention when he died in 2010, Chuck made a name for himself within the local arts community for his staged photographs of found materials. We had a couple of exciting announcements about special guests coming for the opening as well as a Project Runway designer, Mondo Guerra, who spoke here on November 30, the eve of A Day Without Art. I can’t say any more just yet, but it has been fun to think about connecting with visitors and sharing Chuck’s work with a broader audience.
What is one thing about the McNay you wish everyone knew?
There is theatre everywhere. Yes, the McNay has an outstanding theatre collection, but it’s fun to look around for all the performance spaces on the grounds. There’s a stage area in the Blackburn patio (the interior patio where the koi pond is located); the Koehler fountain area has been used as a stage for sword fighting and witches from Macbeth. Even the sloping lawn next to the Stieren Center sculpture terrace forms an amphitheater of sorts. I suppose performance is just part of our architecture.