Alumni, MA Arts and Cultural Management

Project Management & Positive Change: An interview with Rebecca Mirasol Davison Mora

For this week’s Alumni interview, I caught up with Rebecca Mirasol Davison Mora, the Community Manager at arcarta, to find out about her current job, her past academic publications and her career aspirations.

Rebecca Mirasol Davison Mora is an expert in project management and cultural policy who engages in establishing positive change in the arts sector. She undertook an MA in Arts & Cultural Management at King’s College London between 2020 and 2021.

You only recently joined Arcarta. What can you tell me about your job so far? What is the day to day work of a Community Manager?

Yes, I just joined a month ago! Previously I had worked in galleries for 7 years so this was a significant shift for me. However, there is a lot of transferable knowledge that has been helpful in making a transition from a gallery setting to a tech company. My responsibilities include supporting the art market through education, connection, and access to resources. I am working with our team to build up our community partnerships, communication channels & sales pipeline.

I’m also currently writing our second annual Regulation Report in which I survey the data from our users to educate the market on how due diligence and anti money laundering regulation is affecting galleries, consultants and auction houses. We are in a unique position to do this as the platform provides art market participants with Anti Money Laundering Training, and Due Diligence checks, helping us to gain insight that other reports do not have access to.

For context, due diligence is now a legal requirement for art galleries/dealers/advisors/auction houses, and having worked in galleries I understand it is difficult to navigate these things without the vocabulary and resources. With my past experience, it has been great to dig my teeth into something new and use my knowledge of our customers’ unique position to help build a new leg of the team that looks outward to the market as a whole.

How does this role differ from previous jobs you have held and, more generally, are there any expectations you had about this career path that you have found differed from reality, in both a good or bad way?

The role is definitely different from working in a gallery, I was used to setting up exhibitions, organizing art fairs and selling artwork so to switch over, as I mentioned, has been a huge adjustment. I loved working in art galleries, it’s amazing to be surrounded by a constant carrossel of artwork. However, after I finished the MA I had all this specialist knowledge in cultural policy that I wanted to use. I also had hit a bit of a cap in terms of where to go next within a commercial gallery, head of operations is a really logistics centered job and I’ve always had an interest in communication and engagement. I was aware that I needed to make a change to ensure I was getting everything I wanted out of a job. We used the platform at my old gallery and I saw an opportunity to make a shift that would allow me to use my research training, engage with the market in a broader way and challenge me to try new things.

I would be interested to hear some more about your dissertation project which explored cultural policy and decolonial museum practices - interrogating constructions of Mexican national identity at the British Museum. What was the inspiration for this research focus?

This is such an exciting question! My dissertation was such a labor of love. I am half Mexican and half British and I was interested in how my unique positionality would allow me to enter an underexplored relationship. I was reading all of this decolonial theory but realized within the museum there are many relationships that do not fall neatly into decolonial discourse. The relationship between Mexico and the UK is one that is more accurately described as informal imperialism, in which Mexico was a post-colonial nation state but still in a relationship with the UK (who became their first trading partner after independence) that exemplified imperialistic strategies of control. The way in which the UK acquired and displayed Mexican patrimony is very telling about how they slotted Mexican identity into a worldview founded in colonial ideology. However, it is so complex and Mexican actors also contributed to these narratives and worldviews – that’s why I wanted to do the project. I wanted to uncover complexities and see how my unique experience could assist in that process.

More broadly how did your time at King’s support your career development? And What are your career aspirations?

King’s was an amazing experience. I grew up in Canada and even though I have British roots I had never really been to London. It completely changed my life trajectory. I was on the Creative Careers Committee, did the Principal’s Global Leadership Award Scheme and made invaluable connections to peers, colleagues and now friends. The MA gave me a background in cultural policy, arts management and research foundations that I am using every day at work. As for my aspirations, I would love to continue in my research and pursue a Phd. I’m taking some time to come up with a project that connects my experience and interests but fingers crossed I’ll be ready for next year’s applications.

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