Guillermina Gonzalez Considers Art A Serious Business
Mexico City native says success in math and science innovation can only be achieved with a healthy exposure to art.
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Big business and the arts are natural antagonists, or so the cliché goes. But don’t tell that to Guillermina Gonzalez. As executive director of the Delaware Arts Alliance, a not-for-profit headquartered in downtown Wilmington, Gonzalez perceives the deep affinity between statewide economic development and dynamic arts communities.
She brings a capacious skill set to her role of arts advocate, wedding a pragmatic business approach to an innovator’s imagination. And given that the arts represent a $143 million industry in Delaware and generate six times the investment, to neglect the marriage of the marketplace and the maestro is good for neither business nor the arts.
Born in Mexico City, Gonzalez was rooted in a high-achieving family. “I would say that I come from an intellectual background, particularly from my dad’s side. My father is a neurosurgeon, one of the toughest specialties in medicine. And my mother is a chemist.” Although Gonzalez dabbled with the idea of becoming a chemical engineer, “I realized it was not for me. I didn’t see myself working in a lab.”
Gonzalez was never in want of ambition, however. “I entertained many different ideas: becoming a psychiatrist, an economist—everything got my interest. It was painful for me to make a decision.” Cultural activities, too, were woven into the tapestry of her early life. “I always remember going to museums and exhibitions, and my mom and dad made it part of a ‘fun day.’”