Camille Frasca, class of 2017
Camille Frasca, class of 2017
- Camille Frasca © Caroline Goddard 2017
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND?
After two years of preparatory classes in classical literature and a degree in comparative modern literature in English and Spanish at the Sorbonne, I entered the Ecole du Louvre to study art history, the history of collections, and museology, with a specialization in modern and contemporary art. While I was finishing my degree at the Ecole du Louvre, I took the admission exams for the Master's program at the School of Public Affairs at Sciences Po (Culture policy stream) and began a double degree program at both the institutions.
At that time, I started to work as a freelancer, curating exhibitions through a student association, as well as consulting for galleries and working as an art consultant for collectors and creative agencies.
Today, after almost six years at the Picasso National Museum in Paris as an art historian in charge of missions and coordinating cultural projects, I have recently been recruited to become the director of the museums of Villefranche-sur-Mer, a town in the Alpes-Maritimes, just outside Nice.
WHAT WERE THE MAIN STAGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR PROFESSIONAL PROJECT?
At the end of my bachelor's degree at the Ecole du Louvre, I quickly wanted to complete my knowledge with a more legal, administrative and structuring training to design projects. I therefore wanted to join the Cultural Track of the Master in Public Policy offered by the School of Public Affairs at Sciences Po. At that time, the management of the Ecole du Louvre informed me that a double degree was being prepared between the two institutions, and that I could serve as a "guinea pig" to test the course outlines and the timetable between the two programs. I signed up right away, and I started a year of double master's studies that was both exciting and quite rock'n roll! I immediately liked the courses at Sciences Po, and I was completely committed to this double degree. In my Sciences Po class, I was the only one, at that time, to have a curriculum related to heritage and art history, which helped me enormously. It was through this that I met Laurent Le Bon, who had taken up his post a few months earlier as president of the Musée national Picasso-Paris, and who was speaking in a course on cultural policies offered by François-Xavier Labarraque. I was then able to begin a project with him as coordinator of the "Picasso-Mediterranean" project, a network of more than 70 institutions throughout the Mediterranean with which the museum has designed 45 exhibitions around the work of Picasso, and four scientific symposiums at the Cini Foundation in Venice, the Villa Medici in Rome, the Fabre Museum in Montpellier and the Picasso Museum in Malaga. This international cultural event, which brought together more than 2 million visitors for all the exhibitions, kept me busy for more than three years - it ran from 2017 to 2019 and was the subject of a digital and a paper publication. Within the museum, I have also been in charge of various transversal projects, such as monitoring structural documents like the Scientific and Cultural Project and the Objective and Performance Contract, which have allowed me to work with a wide variety of collaborators, both inside and outside the museum. These various projects, within a national museum institution – the Picasso Museum is a public institution under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture – have allowed me to learn to work with a variety of interlocutors: large institutions abroad, regional museum structures, private partners... I have been in an abundance of incredible professional and human encounters!
HOW DID YOUR RECRUITMENT PROCESS GO AT THE PICASSO MUSEUM AND THEN AT THE VILLEFRANCHE-SUR-MER MUSEUM MANAGEMENT?
I started as an intern at the Picasso Museum, under an agreement with Sciences Po while I was in my first year of a Master's degree and doing a double degree with the École du Louvre. At the end of the internship, the museum offered me to stay, and I chose to take a year off: this break between the two years is a choice I will never regret! Actually, it wasn't really a break in the strict sense of the word, since I was hired full time at the Picasso Museum in order to be able to continue the missions I had been given during my internship. These missions turned out to be so interesting that when I started my second year of the master's program at Sciences Po, I had the opportunity to do it as an apprentice. This method allowed me to stay at the museum while finishing my studies: a winning combination, since at the end of this alternating year, I continued at the museum under a classic contract. In 2021, I have chosen to embark on a new adventure, and in June I will take up the position of director of the Villefranche-sur-Mer museums. For this recruitment, I responded to a call for applications. The process was a classic one: first of all, you had to send a letter of motivation with an idea for a project, along with your curriculum vitae. Once the first selection was made, there were several interviews and a presentation in front of a jury of professionals to defend the project for the city's museums.
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE POSITION YOU WILL HOLD?
The position of Director of the Museums of Villefranche-sur-Mer consists of managing three museum structures - the Volti Museum, the Goetz-Boumeester Museum and the Roux Museum, as well as a series of chapels - and revitalizing the cultural offer. The aim is to build a plan of action so that the museums shine in the city and outside it, through a program of exhibitions and cultural events. These museums - which have the "Museums of France" label - deserve to be known, and this is one of the challenges to be met. There is also the desire to establish a center for contemporary creation in the local landscape, notably by creating a residence for artists and curators, which offers long periods of reflection and creation and exhibitions of results. Partnerships with other cultural structures are also one of the key aspects of the mission.
WHAT CONTRIBUTIONS DID YOUR TRAINING AT THE SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS MAKE TO THE POSITION YOU HOLD TODAY?
The School of Public Affairs allowed me to understand how our country's administration works, its institutions, the wealth of its public policies and what a public service mission is. As I immediately worked for a public institution, I was able to experience the relations with the Ministry of Culture as well as with the ministerial services related to finance and to comprehend the inter-ministerial work that I had studied in class. My coursework at Sciences Po was also an opportunity to open up to other horizons and to broaden my general culture. I took courses offered in the curriculum that I would never have imagined taking, such as the one on the economics of cinema or a common training course on the history of the uses of the past as part of a session dedicated to political humanities.
WOULD YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR STUDENTS WHO WANT TO GO INTO THE CULTURAL SECTOR TODAY?
If there is one piece of advice to give, it is not to limit yourself, to let your cultural desires speak for themselves and not to be afraid to launch projects, especially personal projects. Since my university studies, I have had the pleasure of wearing several hats: that of curator of exhibitions for various structures, that of consultant for individuals, then that of project manager/coordinator for a museum, and now that of museum manager. During these previous missions, which were often concurrent, I had the pleasure of organizing, independently and on my own time, about ten cultural events in France and abroad, by conceiving the projects from A to Z: from the selection of artists or speakers to the search for resources to carry out these projects. This "resourcefulness" is very beneficial in the cultural sector, and allows you to build a professional image as a multitasker, a Swiss army knife or an orchestra woman, depending on the name you prefer!