Working in the Arts: Maike Cruse

Posted by Emma Restall in Blog

September 5th 2019

Image of Maike smiling in a zig zag, white and red shirt.

With Art Week in Berlin just around the corner, Maike Cruse, the Director of Gallery Weekend and art berlin, made some time in her busy schedule to answer our questions. 

Where do you work? 

I work for Gallery Weekend Berlin and art berlin.

What is your job title? 

I am Director of both events.

What time did you wake up? What are you usual working hours? 

I wake up at 6.30am, bring the kids to school and kindergarden and start working at around 8.30am. First working at home and then in the office.

What are your key tasks ? 

I build the strategies for both events, communicate with the galleries, take care of Sponsors, PR and our partners, curate side programs (like talks and special guest programs), create guest lists, find locations for our events and the fair… We are a tiny team running the 2 events and therefore I do a little bit of everything.

What was your career path to this role? 

I studied Fine Art and English literature in London. Then I started an internship at KW Institute for Contemporary Art, became the press manager, did the same for Berlin Biennale, started a project space called the Forgotten Bar Project and then went to Art Basel as their Communications Manager. In 2012 I returned to Berlin to run Gallery Weekend Berlin and abc (which became art berlin in 2017).

What are the best and worst things about your job?

The best is the art, my team and the time when the actual events are taking place. The worst is having to negotiate with the city, the locations – the city of Berlin is not very supportive with what we are doing.

What careers advice would you give to your 18 year old self with the benefit of hindsight? 

No advice. I never really had a long term plan, but followed my instinct – and always had a really good time and learnt a lot in all of my jobs.

Have you had a secret job that is not on your CV ? 

Yes, many: I worked as an art teacher, in a paint-spraying shop, as babysitter, in various bars and clubs…

Thank you to Maike Cruse for taking the time to talk to us and look out for future insights into the art world.

Maike Cruse Image: Clemens Porikys