Aperture Foundation/Burden Gallery

www.aperture.org
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Aperture Foundation/Burden Gallery Reviews

Updated May 22, 2015
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3.3
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WIlliam Clifford
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4 Employee Reviews

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  1. People who love photography

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Work Scholar in New York, NY
    Former Employee - Work Scholar in New York, NY

    I worked at Aperture Foundation/Burden Gallery full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Everyone there loves photography and has a lot of fun talking about it and discussing it. Some of my most interesting conversations on the subject happened there. It's a thrilling place to be. If you love photography, you'll love spending your nights and weekends with creatives and conversationalists... but if you don't, you might just be frustrated with the lack of personal time.

    Cons

    As with NGO's everywhere, the questions of funding can be a little overbearing. Overall though, I was extremely pleased with how true to their mission they were.


  2. Negative environment

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Aperture Foundation/Burden Gallery full-time

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Outstanding projects. They work with top photographers and writers and have a very impressive list of books and shows.

    Cons

    Very stressful environment. Staff juggling too many projects at once, trying to keep partners and board members happy, which creates a volatile culture in which there's a lot of sniping and finger pointing. Internal communication is poor, even though there are way too many meetings. Exec director takes a confrontational tone with the staff--this is an arts nonprofit, not Harvard Law School--and I didn't see this bring out the best in most people. I've never worked in a place where staffers were so on edge and defensive. Pay is low compared to the industry.

    Advice to Management

    People enter this field because of their interest in and passion for the photographic arts and literature, you should not quash that spark by micromanaging and putting staff on the defensive. Good work can result from a collaborative environment. Pitting people against each other makes for very low morale.


  3. Helpful (2)

    Great people, but not for the faint of heart

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Aperture Foundation/Burden Gallery full-time

    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    All photography all the time. Everyone who works here is highly engaged with the field internationally and is very committed to the organization. A very active place with lots of events and chances to learn more about photography, interact with artists/photographers/authors/curators, and gain valuable and unique insight into the workings of a publisher, gallery space, and non-profit all at once (not a lot of places have that mix). Many people have been here quite a long time, which could be seen seen as either a pro or con, but it's worth noting that some people find serious job stability. People often take on several roles within their position. This could be seen as a con (see below), but also a pro in that it's possible for a highly motivated person to take initiative and develop their professional skills more than at other organizations. There is also lots of cross-departmental work, no matter what job you have. You know everyone in the office and have worked with them at some point. Everyone is genuinely nice, and it's like a family even when there's professional dissension.

    Cons

    A large portion of the staff is overworked. This doesn't just relate to workload (which is all NGOs and most professional jobs in NYC), but also people's roles not being well-defined and often encompassing what would be 2-4 positions at another organization. No one does just one job and does it well. This is mostly a result of too many projects happening at one time in relation to staff resources and budgets, as well as projects not being thought out thoroughly and in advance. There isn't much room for career growth, unless you're in the editorial department, where there's a little more flexibility (This is probably because these jobs are the most specialized and therefore, the most valued). Staff morale can be low because people feel overloaded and like it's nearly impossible to do a good job. In a staff full of dedicated people and perfectionists, this is a real downer!


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  5. Helpful (1)

    Excellent internship

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Finance in New York, NY
    Former Intern - Finance in New York, NY

    I worked at Aperture Foundation/Burden Gallery as an intern (Less than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    - Very family-like people
    - relaxed, laid-back environment with 2 cats
    - understanding and considerate staff

    Cons

    - obviously low stipends but all the art-related internships have no stipends at all



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