PAMM Member Profile: Stacey Mancuso

Members are at the heart of Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). In this member profile, we are featuring Stacy Mancuso who has been a member of our museum since 2013.

How long have you been a member at PAMM and what drew you to the museum?
I have been a member of PAMM’s Museum Circle since 2013. As artists and art educators, both my late husband and I felt it was essential to support PAMM and all of the programs within the museum.

What do you do? Has this changed in 2020?
For 35 years, my late husband (Tom Wyroba) and I have been working in the arts in schools.

Tom was a founding faculty at the New World School of the Arts and inspired Miami’s art students for 27 years. My last position was as Principal of Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH) from 1999-2017. I have to say that Tom and I had the best two jobs in the universe and the teachers, staff, and students were an artistic inspiration to everyone they touched. Not to mention, the parental support was off the charts. How fortunate were we both to have the opportunity to ignite our students and watch them change the art world?

Since then, I have been designing art school curriculum for high schools and colleges throughout the country. Understandably, this has not been a priority for schools since 2020, as schools struggle to reach students during the pandemic. I am teaching thesis research to graduate students online and maintaining my own studio work.

Pictured: Liz Wyroba and Carlos Noguera. Wedding officiated by Richard Milstein at PAMM.
Photo courtesy of Stacey Mancuso.

Have you been able to visit PAMM since reopening? What did you think?
I have been there almost daily as I live across the street and it is on my running route. Beyond that, I have been to several tours designed for Museum Circle, which have been well presented.

Are there any current podcasts, books or music you’d suggest reading or listening to right now?
Right now? Podcast: Mo Rocca. Book: “Song for My Fathers” by Tom Sancton. Music: WWOZ, New Orleans.

Have you attempted any at-home recipes?
Six of us in the building took turns cooking for all for the first few months of the pandemic. We tried it all; there wasn’t a palate that was not represented. We left the meals outside the door of the chef-of-the day. It lifted spirits and built lifelong community friends.

How do you think art speaks to our current moment and why do you feel it is important?
If I didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the Zoom presentations from the cultural organizations in Miami and beyond, I would have been culturally dormant. I thank each and every one of the museums, theaters, orchestras, and bookstores that provided all of us with a cultural lifeline during a difficult time.

What do you love most about PAMM?
I moved from Palmetto Bay to a building across the street to be near PAMM. The museum has provided my family and friends endless experiences of enlightenment and joy.

Stacey Mancuso (right) and artist Christo Vladimirov Javacheff

What have been some of your favorite shows/events (either virtual or in-person)?
Edouard Duval-Carrié: Imagined Landscapes, Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida,1980-83, and Teresita Fernández: Elemental.

What do you envision for PAMM in the future?
Hopefully, when life is good again, PAMM will be a community-oriented enclave where all of Miami will feel welcomed and inspired. Community outreach is the answer to bringing in the community as museums are often a foreign entity to the general population.

What is a phrase or mantra that you live by? And what are you hoping for in 2021?
We have learned so much in the past year. “Do more. Do it better. Do it for others.”

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