Get a peek behind the scenes of museums and art organizations. Learn more about the people who make organizations run and the variety of career opportunities in creative fields. Discussions will be followed by a meet and greet with snacks.
Conversation participants include: Emily Areta, Sophie Asakura, Kenya Evans, Kristen Flack, Kelly Montana, Michael Simmonds
About Emily Areta
Emily Areta (pronouns: she/her) is Programs and Curriculum Manager at Literacy Through Photography, which is FotoFest’s learning program. Literacy Through Photography is a full-scale photography, writing, and literacy program that offers students an avenue for greater self-expression and exploration. The foundation curriculum blends stream-of-consciousness creative writing prompts, social-emotional learning, visual literacy exercises, and photography-based art projects as a means to stretch student imagination, broaden perspective, build creative skills, and further develop their voice. Each year, the Literacy Through Photography curriculum is successfully implemented to roughly one thousand grade school students and adults across Teaching Artist residencies at Houston area Title I schools and community organizations.
About Sophie Asakura
Sophie Asakura (pronouns: she/her) is the Assistant Curator at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art. Her work there also includes curating shows, creating and implementing programming, as well as writing. She is a native Houstonian and a graduate of Vassar College where she studied Art History with a concentration in Russian Revolutionary art. Her studies and work focus on the emancipatory possibilities of art and the social systems within which art operates. Social justice and activism are integral to her work both as theoretical frameworks and practical applications. Sophie has recently spoken on various panel discussions about equity and social justice and had her article about Rice’s Midtown Ion project published in the Houston Chronicle. She is currently working in an advisory capacity on a public art and cultural heritage project with Mel Chin for the 5th Ward. Sophie also holds a position at the Art League Houston as a project manager for a city-wide public art project.
About Kenya Evans
A native of South Carolina, Kenya Evans is an artist living and working in Houston, TX. He has exhibited nationally and continues to work with several artists and organizations through installation and preparatory work. He currently holds the position of Gallery Supervisor at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
About Kristen Flack
Kristen Flack is a Senior Development Officer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), where she oversees the Museum’s corporate relationships and special fundraising projects. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Houston Honors College. Prior to her time at the MFAH, Kristen has worked in various capacities in the Houston arts sector, including fundraising and program administration at Inprint and Writers in the Schools and grantmaking at the Houston Arts Alliance.
About Kelly Montana
Kelly Montana is the Assistant Curator at the Menil Drawing Institute. Upcoming projects include an exhibition of drawings by Brice Marden. She previously held positions at the Dallas Museum of Art, Lawndale Art Center, and the Fabric Workshop and Museum.
About Michael Simmonds
Michael Simmonds (pronouns: he/him) is the Teen Council and Public Programs Coordinator at Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, where he collaborates with Teen Council Members in creating programs and exhibitions for teens and adults. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture from University of Houston.
About Summer Teen Programs
Summer Teen Programs are a series of workshops, events, and learning opportunities designed just for teens ages 13–19. All teens are welcome; admission is always free.