When it comes to art, Cara Starke – the Director of Pulitzer Arts Foundation – knows her stuff. The St. Louis transplant has been with the highly regarded institution for three years after earning her stripes in the New York curatorial worlds of MoMA and Creative Time. The experience she gained in public and collected works has served her well in the unique environment of the Pulitzer.

The building itself is both a beautiful work of art and a rebellious community hub, saying a polite “no thank you” to choosing a specific focus, which allows them to seamlessly ebb and flow between subject matter and medium. This gives the institution space to showcase both historical and contemporary work that reflects the current social climate – something that excites Starke and keeps her on her toes in her day-to-day.  

While she is able to flex a wide range of her skillset here, it’s the community connection that keeps her world abuzz. A highlight for her is creating a wholly inclusive place for the public to experience art, as well as encouraging her team to facilitate creative collaborations with colleagues across disciplines – from The Symphony to local musical label FarFetched. “Because everything we do is so deliberate, we are able to gauge what the community is interested in and curate cross-disciplinary events based on what they care about,“ says Starke. “This will never be your standard experience and that’s what makes my work so exciting.”