Primary Role: As Manager of External Relations, Nora works on events such as the annual Gala, Now Showing, and ART.WRITE.NOW. She is also involved in alumni-related efforts like the Atelier, in which six alumni artists created work in a downtown storefront for two weeks. In addition, Nora manages the Alliance’s archive and oversees all of the Alliance’s blog and social media efforts. Every time you see a Facebook update, tumblr post or tweet – that’s her!

Secret Fact: Nora continues to practice photography, which she studied in college. You can see her work at noragomez.com. Aside from her own site, she runs a website about the history of rock in New York City, rocknrollnyc.org. Nora is also currently learning how to play the mandolin and how to pickle.

Nora: One day when I was in high school, we were each asked to tell the class something we wanted to do in life. I went to an arts high school, so everyone’s response was something like, “Win an Oscar” or “Have a retrospective at MoMA.” When it was my turn, the first thing that came out of my mouth was “Help people.” I always knew I wanted to work in the arts, but it was from that moment on that I also knew I wanted to be involved in something that affected people’s lives. How lucky that I ended up somewhere like the Alliance!

I pursued photography and art education at SUNY Paltz. Two weeks before graduation I was offered a job teaching high school photography and new media in upstate New York and I was accepted to Pratt Institute for a graduate program. It was a hard decision to make, but I chose Pratt, where I received a Master’s in Arts & Cultural Management. Grad school was a wonderful learning experience. I was able to explore my abilities and interests while interning in galleries and museums. I even had the opportunity to design an exhibition catalogue while interning at MoCADA. After a brief stint at MoMA and then work as a gallery administrator, I began a position at the Queens Museum of Art.

It was at the Queens Museum that I was given a lot of freedom to discover what I was interested in. I began there as the Director’s assistant and coordinator for the CIG of New York City. A few months in, I asked if I could be more involved in the development department. Then I asked if I could launch their Facebook page. When that went well, I thought the museum should join this new thing called “Twitter,” and it all snowballed from there. My role changed to Strategic Partnerships Associate, which included everything from managing the website and social media presence to working on the gala and other fundraising efforts. A big accomplishment during my time at the museum was executing the “Non-Gala,” in which the museum held an entirely online event in lieu of a sit down dinner, which raised as much money as a physical event! Well, that and an infamous twitter war.

A few years later, I was ready to move on, but only to somewhere I would love as much. I remembered hearing about the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards as a teenager and thought it was just so fantastic. What the Alliance does actually changes people’s lives and it’s a special feeling to be a part of that. I was (and am still) so excited to use social media to spread awareness about the Alliance’s important work and engage new audiences. It’s so wonderful when we get tweets or Facebook posts from current and past Award-winners. Luckily we also have an incredible legacy of alumni, so there is always something to write about! I read blogs and websites every day to search for news about Scholastic Awards Alumni, which is a lot of fun. It could be something about Andy Warhol or a student who won last year and is already doing great things. Sometimes when I see what students are doing, I feel like I should be doing more also. There is constant inspiration.

Advice to Young Artists & Writers: Never stop learning. Pablo Picasso once said, “I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it.”

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