Park Profiles: Meet Marisa Nolan!

Kristen MihalkoBalboa Park Cultural Partnership, One Park - One Team, Park Profiles

Marisa Nolan is the Operations Assistant at the Timken Museum of Art. She is relatively new to San Diego and Balboa Park, but her positive outlook, participation, and love for the arts has already cemented her voice. Marisa is also a new member of the Emerging Museum Professional’s Membership Committee, and is an active attendee of the OPOT Get-Togethers.

  1. How did you first get involved with the Timken Museum of Art?

I have always wanted to work in the arts, and working specifically for an art museum has been my dream, but the museum world can be really tricky to break into. I worked for art galleries and photography studios, always sticking in the arts, and finally found this opportunity at the Timken and I was lucky enough to get the job!

  1. Best advice for encountering a challenging situation at work?

The most important advice I can give is to always maintain a positive attitude. Meaning, pay attention to how you phrase your sentences, out loud to others but more importantly in your own head to yourself. If you’re not familiar with The Four Agreements, they are a great base for positivity: Be impeccable with your word. Don’t take anything personally. Don’t make assumptions. And Always do your best.

  1.     What do you like most about working in operations?

I love Operations because I like learning all the nitty gritty of how a museum functions. I want to know how everything works, where everything is stored, and who all the right people are to call. My role allows me to help keep the place running smoothly.

  1.    What has surprised you most about working at the Timken?

The Timken receives around 200,000 visitors a year, which on its own is a surprising number! But what surprises me the most is observing human behavior, and noticing how similar people really are, as well as what makes us unique. Watching traffic patterns is so interesting and is something that continues to surprise me, seeing things that you only notice after observing lots of people over a long span of time.

  1.     What do you like to do outside of working here in the Park?

I recently joined the board of the Emerging Museum Professionals (EMP) as a member of the Membership Committee! I love attending the monthly events and connecting with other people who also want to develop and continue their careers in the museum world. EMP is really trying to focus on hosting career development focused events this year, so it is a great time to check it out! Besides EMP, I really enjoy walking around all the cool neighborhoods around here, going to different restaurants and trying new foods, and I like to do yoga, both regular and aerial.

  1.     Favorite book, TV show, movie?

My favorite book is House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski, and I’d have to say my favorite movie, or movies actually, is The Matrix Trilogy. I have lots of favorite television shows, but one of my top favorites is definitely It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

  1.     As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, what is something about working in Balboa Park that you love?

I love how picturesquely beautiful Balboa Park is. With its beautiful fountains, tiles, and the Spanish Colonial Architecture, it’s such a distinct and lovely place to work. I also love that I work so close to the Zoo that when I’m walking into work in the mornings, I can hear the different species of birds squawking. I also love that because I work in the Park, I have free access to all the amazing institutions here!

  1.   If you could be any animal what would you be and why?

I think I would like to be a Jaguar. They are such magnificently awesome looking creatures, and they have really sharp teeth.

  1.     What is your favorite spot in Balboa Park?

My favorite spot in the Park is the Timken!