Meet Sarah Eaton

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Throughout her career, Sarah Eaton has witnessed the immense changes of the film industry and museum world through the public relations perspective. Along with the times, she has adapted and stuck with her passion and interest in art and film which led her to work as a publicist in those fields. Eaton now oversees Media and Public Relations at the Guggenheim Museum. Having lived in many cities, she has acquired an eclectic taste in music and arts that have influenced her recommendations below.
 
  Robe,    Martine's Dream
  Top, Marni, Pants, Everlane, Shoes, ATP

Top, Marni, Pants, Everlane, Shoes, ATP

ON HER MORNING ROUTINE

I tend to wake up between 6:00 and 6:30 AM. The morning is my favorite time of the day. My 13-year-old son also wakes up early, so it’s our time together before the day gets crazy. The first thing I do is make coffee. Then I check headlines and skim emails to make sure there is nothing urgent. I make breakfast and lunch for the kids and myself. I try to do at least a half-hour of yoga at home to get focused. I also have a habit of listening to political podcasts while doing yoga, which may work against the benefits of the practice. Finally, I get dressed for work and try to get out the door between 9:00 and 9:30 AM.

on her background and getting into communications

I grew up in Massachusetts and New Jersey, then went to a small liberal arts college in New Hampshire where I studied political science, some philosophy, and some art history, which I discovered very late. After college, I worked a summer job on Block Island, RI which I held on to as long as possible, but I eventually moved to Boston. I waited tables while seeking a job in the arts, then I was fortunate to land a position at the Institute of Contemporary Art as the Assistant to the Head of Public Relations. I found that I liked working with journalists and that PR suited me. I’ve stuck with it since.

on breaking into the film industry

My first film-related job was working as the PR rep for The Brattle Theater, a historic repertory cinema, in Cambridge, MA that was managed by my two friends. I loved film, and the business side seemed exciting. I eventually moved to New York to pursue a career in film publicity.

When I first moved to New York, I volunteered for the New York Film Festival. Through connections and friends made at the festival, I was hired at The Museum of Modern Art as the Film and Video Press Representative. It was a fantastic place to work. The position bridged my museum and film experience while exposing me to so many amazing people in the field. From there, I got a job at Fine Line Features, and then October Films. RIP to both.

  Trench, Yang Li Men ; T-Shirt, Vintage ; Choker, Vintage YSL ; Pants, Sonia Rykiel
What films do you love? Who distributes or makes those films? Who has the job that you want? Can you get an internship or an informational interview? Keep pushing from there. I had a list of names and numbers of people to call when I moved to New York, and I kept calling and trying to see people to get suggestions and leads. There is an element of the job search that is just persistence, a bit of detective work, and some luck.
— on her advice to someone in interested in working in the film industry
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on her various roles and how the changing film industry

I was always a leader or member of a team that strategized how to make the public aware of a project, whether it was a film or TV series. For the most part, it was work I believed in. Some of my favorite years were at Fine Line Features. The independent film business was really coming into its own, and it was exciting to be a part of it. In those days, everything was local. Every city had at least two film critics and newspapers. I learned how to open a film in a particular city based on the taste of the critic, local film festival, and instincts of the local theater. The business has changed dramatically, but I believe that personal relationships are still at the heart of making things work in a rewarding way.

on her position at the Guggenheim in contrast to the film industry

I oversee planning and implementation of strategic media relations, communications for all exhibitions, and programs and initiatives of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. The rhythm and pace of the museum world is very different to the film and television business. Ultimately, the skill set is transferable, and experience is valuable in any situation. I enjoy working with knowledgeable and accomplished colleagues while being exposed on a daily basis to stories, worlds, artists, and practices that deepen my knowledge of the field. I consider myself lucky!

My team works on all museum initiatives. Right now, I am looking forward to the upcoming exhibition of Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future. I think this show will be a respite for all seeking to restore and nourish their souls in these trying times. Af Klint’s personal history is compelling and oddly relevant to today.

on her self-care routines

I try to take yoga classes regularly, although I need to do it more often. A real treat for me is a body scrub at City Well. It’s a little oasis in Gowanus. Also, movies, museums, binge-TV, and music help restore myself!

  Dress, Layla

Dress, Layla

It is really hard to make sense of the political times that we are living in. It’s an extraordinary and seismic shift in our democracy and an opening of the fault lines that expose the deeply inhumane side of our society. But change is on the way! To keep up with at least some of today’s most pressing issues, I recommend The Daily, Trumpcast, On the Media, Pod Save America, and Slate Political Gabfest.
— on her favorite podcasts
  Dress, Layla

Dress, Layla

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  Dress, Layla

Dress, Layla

on music and its influence on her

When I was in college in the late 70s and early 80s, the independent music scene was vibrant in New York, LA, Boston, and other cities around the country. I became hooked on Patti Smith, Blondie, Devo, B52s, Human Sexual Response, and others. I first heard Patti Smith’s “Horses” in my freshman year of college. It was life changing, thrilling, and incredibly powerful. I bought both The Fleshtones’ “Roman Gods” and X’s “Wild Gift” in 1982—two very different bands. The Fleshtones are a super fun garage rock band from New York. X was the center of the early LA punk scene. Sonic Youth’s “Daydream Nation” represented a turning point for them, but honestly it’s hard to say which album is their best. I discovered them through art—a performance by Glenn Branca. They were an art-punk-noise underground band that unexpectedly became a success and defined independent rock music for a couple of decades.

on her style and shopping habits

I’m a bit of a scavenger shopper so I find items in local stores, online, and in a couple of chains. I enjoy shopping at Layla Brooklyn, not just for the beautiful selection of cotton clothing, textiles, and jewelry, but also to visit the lovely women who work there. In Brooklyn, Bird and Diane T have good selections. Since I love Marni and Dries Van Noten, I look for bargains on Yoox. I favor graphic patterned dresses, skirts, and tops, and also rely on the perfect black jacket, pants (usually Theory), and boots. Everlane is my new go-to for jeans. COS is very useful for basics. For inspiration, I look at street style images. The best are from outside the Milan fashion shows. Italians know how to do it. I find the Dries Van Noten shows beautiful and amazing. Occasionally, I take a walk through Bergdorf Goodman. It’s a treat to look at gorgeously made clothing.

on her beauty routine

I wash my face in the morning and night with Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Face Wash, Super Multi-Corrective Cream, Rosa Arctica Eye, and Facial Moisturizer. For makeup, I use Clinique’s Even Better Glow Light Reflecting Makeup, just a bit of their concealer, blush, and lipstick. I also use Aveeno’s Active Naturals Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion.

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I was fortunate enough to afford child care when my kids were young. Later, my husband had a flexible work schedule and spent several years as the lead parent. You have to roll with it, let some things go, and work with your partner to get it all done. No one has all the answers on this topic. We don’t live in a country that gives valuable support to families, working parents, children, or the elderly. My overall advice is to do what works best for you and your family. Don’t beat yourself up if it’s not perfect.
— on work and life balance
  Dress, Layla

Dress, Layla

sarah's favorite books

The Tate Museum catalogue for an exhibition of work by abstract painter and textile designer Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979) is a go-to for inspiration and pleasure. In studying art history, I only learned about her husband Robert with whom she worked closely. Both were members of an international modernist avant-garde and explored color theory and abstraction. Delaunay was not widely recognized in her own right until much later with a niche but devoted following. She was quoted in 1972 saying, “Colour brings me joy.” I would say that her work, in turn, brings us joy. I also recommend Vanessa Bell by Sarah Milroy & Ian A.C. Dejardin, Intimate Collaborations by Bibiana Obler, Dries Van Noten & Hi, Konnichiwa by Yayoi Kusama.

sarah's favorite places IN new york city

Near my office is the Wooly Public in the Woolworth Building. The food is great and the environment is retro, pub-like, and witty. In SoHo, I like Shuka. In the Upper East Side, the Guggenheim’s The Wright is great, and another favorite is the café at the Neue Galerie. I love Governors Island in the summer to ride bikes. Fort Greene Park in the cooler months for walking, or in winter for sledding, is great. Brooklyn has so many wonderful food shops, chief among them is the Middle Eastern grocery store Sahadis. I never tire of their homemade prepared foods, bulk nuts, coffee, olives, spices, and more. It’s an experience. Another neighborhood favorite is Caputo’s in Carroll Gardens for the best mozzarella anywhere, as well as a selection of Italian favorites. I’d also add Damascus Bakeries on Atlantic Avenue for Middle Eastern treats. Of course I love the Guggenheim and have the unique privilege of visiting between shows and at odd hours. You can visit before hours with #EmptyGuggenheim Tours. For a burst of color and to soothe your over-mediated soul, I recommend the upcoming exhibition of work by Hilma af Klint. For small museums, I love the Neue Galerie, which is housed in a townhouse and concentrates on early 20th-century German and Austrian art. For contemporary art, I’d suggest the New Museum. It’s a manageable size and always of the moment. I am looking forward to its Sarah Lucas show this fall. For ceramics, my favorite is Clareware. I use them every day, and they never fail to delight me. They’re also dishwasher safe! For cinema, theater, and dance, the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) has it all, and we can walk there! For music, It really depends on who is playing, but for room size and offerings, I’d plug The Bowery Ballroom, currently home to the Yo La Tengo Eight Nights of Hanukkah series, Rough Trade in Williamsburg, and the Bell House

  Top & Skirt, Marni, Bag, Barneys

Top & Skirt, Marni, Bag, Barneys