Texas native Priya Sircar is a senior consultant at Lord Cultural Resources, a firm that works with museums and other cultural institutions in planning and management. Before joining a Zócalo panel discussion about the arts in San Diego—“Will San Diego Ever Become a Great Art City?”—she talked in the green room about movies, fundraising strategies, and what it takes to make a great museum.
You first took the stage at age 3. What did you perform?
Indian dance. I had a fever that day, my mom says.
You act. You dance. You play music. What’s your favorite form of artistic expression—both to perform and to watch?
To perform, I would say to dance. To watch, I actually love films. I’m a movie junkie.
Why shouldn’t we mess with Texas?
Isn’t it obvious? It’s just an awesome place. Instead of messing with Texas, everyone should come and visit!
A bakery in Brooklyn’s rainbow-colored bagels have become extremely popular. Cool idea or marketing gimmick?
Bagels are delicious, so why not make them more beautiful to look at?
Are you now a New Yorker for life?
No. I don’t think any Texan can say they’ll be a New Yorker for life. At least, that’s what I think now.
What does a museum need to be successful?
That is a big question. This is true of any cultural organization that’s serving the public: They need to reflect the community that they serve. Their programming—the art and artists being shown—and also their staff and their board all should strive to do this.
What’s one of your best fundraising tricks?
You really want to listen to people to figure out what their interests are. If there’s a connection to be made with what you’re raising funds for, that’s the way to do it. Also, if you have a well-loved spokesperson, that makes asking people for money much easier.
What’s your favorite song to dance to?
“Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners.
Favorite Disney princess?
Ariel from The Little Mermaid.
Rock, paper, or scissors?