A new type of leadership.
The Brooklyn Children’s Museum recently appointed a Caribbean American for a leadership position at the institution. Museum educator Daniela Fifi is the new vice president of programs and education, and will be in charge of overseeing the museum’s approach of instructional activities. The new post is going to allow Fifi to fulfill her passion in a neighborhood she feels culturally tied to, she said.
“No other borough subsection comes close to the distinctly non-hispanic Caribbean character of Central Brooklyn, personally for me, being Trinidadian — working in Crown Heights feels like home and having the ability to develop programs for the Caribbean community is exciting,” she said.
Starting her new job on July 10, Fifi is responsible for managing and creating programs, and ensuring that children get a full-fledged understanding of the arts, and incorporate that with what they are learning in school.
“At Brooklyn Children’s Museum I will oversee the curatorial, public and education programs. Central to our educational mission is engaging children in cultural experiences at the museum,” she said. “And ensuring that their cultural education here reflects the rich diversity of Brooklyn.”
Fifi beat out 40 other applicants for the role and what set her apart from other candidates was her highly diverse experience and her strong commitment to the field, said the museum’s president.
“We are enormously excited for her to be part of the team. We had some really exceptional finalists but what excited us the most about Daniela — she is passionate about education and inspiring kids through the arts,” said Stephanie Wilchfort.
Prior to joining Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s team, Fifi worked at the City College of New York and New Jersey City University where she taught arts, and The Noguchi Museum.
Now she is looking forward to using her lifelong skills to bring forth new programs to the center, and interact with the museum’s community.
“I’m going to continue what I’ve been doing in my professional life and speak to a community that I care deeply about,” said Fifi. “Crown Heights is diverse and exploring these cultures is exciting for me.
And even though Fifi is still two weeks into her post, she has big plans for the museum and hopes to implement more cultural exhibits the guests.
“I like the idea of bringing an artist-in-residency program to the museum — I would love to build a deeper connection between Brooklyn artists and the museum into a wider framework of the museum’s current programming,” said Fifi. “Specifically artists that are passionate about developing projects on cross-cultural literacy to children with diverse cultural backgrounds.”
The museum’s next exhibit will highlight the cultural importance of block parties in Brooklyn, featuring a gallery of photos taken by Anderson Zaca. The presentation opens December and will be on display until June 2018.