Today we’d like to introduce you to Alex Capriotti.
Alex, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My career has a strangely straight trajectory, and not one that I planned out from the beginning. My museum career started in 2007 when I was accepted into a Getty-funded multicultural internship program at the Skirball Cultural Center while I was still in undergrad at UCLA. I ended up working there for about 3 years after the internship, and then I moved to LACMA, where I became the Director of Marketing. From there, I was recruited to be a key member of the opening team for The Broad museum in Downtown Los Angeles which opened in 2015. I have just recently taken a position as the Deputy Director of The Main Museum, another museum under development in Downtown L.A.
In my first three museum experiences, I was focused on communicating to the public about the museum, including brand and public presence, advertising, public relations, ticketing, online communications and social media, and community and government relations. As I moved through each new role and new museum, I added progressively more responsibility and widened the scope I was working on. At The Broad, I worked for years with a small core team to open a new museum and my responsibilities included everything from marketing plans to garage wayfinding to developing the museum’s visitor services program to serving as the museum spokesperson.
Through these roles, I realized I really love thinking strategically about an institution and how all the various pieces work together. In my new role at The Main, my scope now includes everything from construction management to HR to accounting to communications and much more. I’m constantly toggling between completely opposite responsibilities—like jumping off a call with my structural engineer and then onto another one with my press consultant—but I love seeing how they all fit together to make the larger wheel turn.
Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve been incredibly lucky in my career so far. Some of my biggest moments of struggle were actually when I was considering transitioning from one position to another. The Skirball was my first job and I felt like I developed a family there—it was incredibly difficult for me to decide to leave, but a door opened to me for a great position at LACMA and it felt right to take it. When The Broad opportunity came to me while I was at LACMA, I questioned whether I was qualified for the position since I had never managed museum communications before, let alone open a new museum. During the time I was considering taking the position at The Broad, I was seeking a lot of advice from my mentors—people I have relationships both in and outside the museum world.
The best advice I received was when a friend told me “Never take a job you think you can do.” And he was right. If you are always only taking jobs that you are exactly qualified for, you never have room to learn, fail, and grow. I took that advice when I took the position at The Broad and I took it again when I accepted my current job at The Main. I once read that women only apply for jobs they feel 80% qualified for whereas men apply for jobs they only feel 50% qualified for. So, there’s that.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Main Museum is a new museum under development in downtown Los Angeles that is dedicated to the art and artists of L.A. While the rest of our museum is under construction, we’ve opened a small initial gallery space we are calling Beta Main which we are using as a space to learn and experiment while we build the rest of the museum.
Rather than having a collection at the center of the museum, we are centering our institution around a wonderful artist-in-residence program we are building. We offer artists free studio space onsite at the museum and a monthly stipend to work. It’s incredible to work alongside creative and critically thinking artists from this city every day.
What were you like growing up? Personality or interest-wise.
I loved soccer and cross country. Hated wearing “real clothes” like jeans or dresses. Much preferred my green Umbro soccer shorts. Loved reading and writing. Loved being outdoors. Loved/hated both my sisters. Really hard on myself. Hated disappointing anyone.
- Address: Beta Main, 114 W. 4th St. Los Angeles, CA 90013
- Website: themainmuseum.org
- Phone: 213-986-8500
- Email: email@example.com
The Main Museum