As one of the few nonprofit regional conservation centers in the United States, and the only such center in the western region, the Balboa Art Conservation Center is undergoing transformational change as it shifts into a radically inclusive and accessible art conservation organization. The BACC Board helps nourish this shift while ensuring the organization's vision for inclusion has long-term systemic impact.
The BACC Board of Trustees is led by Board President Dana Springs and boasts a board membership that is 50% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color). In addition to its racial diversity, BACC board members are located throughout BACC’s service area, including Seattle, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and San Diego. They bring a range and depth of expertise in community organizing, arts management and advocacy, fundraising, conservation, education, and financial management. Their diverse perspectives and skills are essential as BACC seeks to fulfill its vision for equity and healing within our own structure and workplace, as well as the communities we serve.
Throughout 2023, we are highlighting each of our Board Members to better understand what excites them about being a part of the BACC Team at this transformative time.
Erika Katayama (she/her) is the Associate Director, Interpretation at the Seattle Art Museum. With 20+ years of experience in multiple museum departments, she has worked at federal, state, and private institutions. Her work has taken her to Louisiana, Texas, Washington DC, Oklahoma, and California. She is committed to access and inclusion within all areas of museums and is currently writing a book about issues of diversity (and the lack thereof) within exhibition design. Her previously held roles on the West Coast have included advisory committee membership for DEAI initiatives for the California Association of Museums, Sr. Director of Audience Engagement at the Museum of Us, and Director of Visual Learning at the Museum of Photographic Arts. Outside of work, she volunteers as a Girl Scout troop leader for 17 5th graders.
BACC: How does your professional, community, and/or cultural work inform your role as a BACC Board Member?
Erika: In particular, I am especially excited for BACC’s outreach efforts to show young people the various careers that are available to them that combine art, science, and education. I want our field to continue to diversify, and BACC is demonstrating the wide area of opportunities that exist. Additionally, I want people to see themselves reflected in these various jobs, one of the reasons why representation matters. I know what it is like to be the “only” in the room and BACC is helping to break down the systems and structures of access and gate-keeping.
B: What excites you most about being on the BACC Board?
E: My participation on the board from Seattle means that I am helping to solidify BACC’s place as a regional resource, not just for Southern California. I want to help amplify the work that is being done, but also create a framework for sustainability and growth of that work for the West Coast and beyond.
B: If you could have one artwork or artifact (personal or otherwise) conserved by the BACC team, what would it be and why?
E: Like tens of thousands of other Japanese-Americans, my grandma was incarcerated at Poston in Arizona during WWII. A friend of hers there made a beautiful carved and painted bird brooch, which my grandma has now gifted to me. There are some paint losses and the object is quite fragile. I intend to eventually donate the brooch to the Japanese American National Museum. While lovely, the brooch serves to remind us all of that horrible chapter in American history.