I returned to the Brooks in summer 2018 to take on a new role, Curator of Strategic Engagement. In addition to exhibition curation, it is my duty to guide and implement programs, marketing strategies and policies that engage, strengthen and inspire museum visitors and the entire Mid-South community. I am also responsible for enhancing the museum’s presence and further elevating the reputation and recognition of the museum as a vital force for community conversation by developing strategies to engage and influence audiences, both in person and online.
From 2010 to 2017, I worked at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Initially, I worked as Public Relations and Public Programs Manager, managing, strategizing and implementing two key engagement platforms: audience experience, and all facets of public relations and social media. I curated the museum's film program and conceived and implemented most adult programming.
In 2015, I was promoted to the position of Associate Curator of Film and Public Engagement. I led Brooks Outside, a new outdoor exhibition initiative, establishing a new model for public engagement that reflected and built on the museum's unique identity as the oldest and only encyclopedic art museum in the Mid-South. I conceived and executed experimental community engagement programming, and curated a robust film program that offered 100+ screenings per year.
Since 1999, I have written essays, interviews, profiles, and articles for a multitude of publications. My work has appeared on National Public Radio, in newspapers such as the Guardian (UK), the Memphis Flyer, Memphis Business Journal and the Commercial Appeal; in culture magazines including Garden & Gun, the Oxford American, Paste and MOJO Magazine; and in specialty periodicals such as the Local Palate and Wax Poetics. I have also written a regular music column, Memphis Music Confidential, for the Commercial Appeal. I currently contribute to a weekly Memphis Flyer column on liquor trends.
From April 2017 to January 2018, I worked as programming curator for the Fourth Bluff, a downtown Memphis civic engagement model that, as part of the national initiative Reimagining the Civic Commons, connects three public assets: Cossitt Library, Memphis Park and Mississippi River Park. I created several new programs for community collaboration and engagement, including the Human Walking Program.
In this pilot project, Memphis Animal Services brought a wide variety of friendly, happy dogs to interact with the downtown community. The program created an opportunity for people to see the amazing dogs that were waiting for good and loving homes. These shelter dogs also served as an icebreaker for downtown office workers and provided impetus for them to leave their desks and stretch their legs outdoors.
I am co-author (with Amie Petronis Plumley) of the how-to children’s craft book Sewing School: 21 Sewing Projects Kids Will Love to Make, an award-winning best-seller (155,000 copies sold as of January 2018) that has been published by Storey Publishing in the United States, Penguin Books in Australia, and Deltas in the Netherlands. I am also co-author of two subsequent titles in the series: Sewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing, published by Storey in 2013 and translated to French by Eyrolles, and Sewing School Quilts, published by Storey in April 2018. A fourth title, Sewing School Fashion Workshop, will be published by Storey in 2019.
Since 2010, I have conducted research, uncovered photographs and other archival material, and interviewed participants to create liner notes for numerous clients, including Rhino Records, Fat Possum Records, Light in the Attic Records, the Bo-Keys, Mick Hucknall, John Németh, Yellow Dog Records, the Center for Southern Folklore, and Birdman Records. Projects have included new albums, re-releases, and box sets. I have also written artist bios and EPK material for several clients, including Ardent Records, Electraphonic Recording, and Cyndi Lauper.
I am a community "doer" with a career commitment to enrich Memphians’ lives, build relationships, and inspire conversation, empathy and creativity. I have participated in community and industry panel discussions hosted by organizations including Crosstown Arts, the Ponderosa Stomp Foundation, Ballet Memphis, the Barbican Centre (London UK), Indie Memphis, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Hattiloo Theater, and the Memphis Music Foundation.
Since 2015, I have hosted Rapper's Delight, a live weekly hip hop show broadcast on on the listener-supported community radio station WEVL FM-89.9 FM in Memphis. I play music by artists like Brockhampton, Oddisee, MF Doom, Big Boi, Tyler the Creator, Run the Jewels, PreauXX, Madlib, and more. Listen online, or if you’re in Memphis, tune in at 89.9 FM. I’m on the air every Saturday at 11 pm CST.