Eiteljorg Insider: Five questions with Brandi Crocker, public events coordinator
Brandi Crocker is the public events coordinator at the Eiteljorg, and her responsibilities include planning the Indian Market and Festival, a popular cultural event downtown every summer since 1993. Brandi might hold the record for the most separate positions held at the Eiteljorg: Over the years she has served as Quest for the West® intern in the Collections department, admissions assistant in Guest Services, Museum Store employee, co-coordinator of Guest Services and manager of Guest Services before moving into her current position as the Eiteljorg’s public events coordinator in 2018.
Here are some questions to get to know Brandi:
You had an interesting experience this spring, originally organizing the 28th annual Indian Market and Festival to take place this June, and then when the museum closure happened, having to quickly pivot and postpone the entire event to June 2021. What’s the best way to get through a sudden change like that?
“Flexibility and adaptability along with a positive attitude. It was heartbreaking to postpone the 2020 Indian Market and Festival to 2021, but it was the correct decision to keep everyone safe. I have been spending the time looking for ways to promote and assist the artists who would have been at the market. Many of them have lost several opportunities to sell their art and are searching for ways to make that up this year. Buy Native Art!”
(A list of artists who would have sold at the Indian Market and Festival this year can be found at https://eiteljorg.org/indianmarketandfestival/. The page contains links to many of the artists’ websites, where their art can be purchased.)
What is your favorite piece in the museum and why?
“I love contemporary Native American art and we boast a large collection. It is difficult for me to pick just one since I love so many of them, but a recent acquisition from the Fellowship exhibit last year I could gaze upon for hours. It is Hannah Claus’s (Bay of Quinte Mohawk) piece water song: peemitanaahkwahki sakaahkweelo.”
Have you been pleasantly surprised by anything recently?
“My neighbors have pleasantly surprised me in my neighborhood. During the quarantine my family and I took frequent walks around our neighborhood, and I have been pleasantly surprised at the friendliness, kindness and giving of my neighbors. It was refreshing in this time of uncertainty.”
What is going to be your fondest memory of working remotely from home during the temporary closure?
“My fondest memory will be of all the time I was able to spend with my kids that would not have happened otherwise. We made quarantine fun!”
When someone finds out that you work at the Eiteljorg, what questions do they ask you?
“Most often people ask me about Jingle Rails, our holiday exhibit. I do also get comments or questions about Indian Market and Festival, which always makes me happy to let them know that is my event!”