Master of Arts in Arts Administration
On a Tuesday night in the spring of 2007, my legal class taught by Bill Abbott had a guest speaker. Her name was Liz Williams and she was the president of the new Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Though she was in class to give a presentation on legal issues, she also spoke about the task of putting together a new museum, how a food museum was a unique idea that would work well in a city such as New Orleans, and why the concept of food and beverage would appeal to a variety of people -- tourists and locals alike. I got it immediately. I understood the concept, the need, the way it would work, everything. I knew that I wanted to be involved with this museum somehow. By the end of summer, I had completed a practicum and had arranged for an internship at this new museum, which was nicknamed SoFAB. Within a few weeks f my internship, I would leave my job as grants officer at the New Orleans Museum of Art to become Director of Collections at SoFAB. It's a risk, leaving an established and well-funded institution for a much smaller establishment that doesn't yet have an employee manual. I think it's worth it. One of the appealing concepts about working at a brand new museum is that employees do everything -- put together exhibitions, work the gift shop, staff the special events, serve as librarians, collect the artifacts. It's a wonderful way to gain experience. During my internship, I wore many hats but my duties focused on four main areas: marketing; funding/development; collections; and curatorial/exhibitions.
Smith, Chris, "Southern food and beverage museum" (2008). Arts Administration Master's Reports. 1.