Business: Center for Contemporary Arts
Job title: Executive Director
Why are you working in this industry? Growing up I participated in all forms of community, church, and school performance and visual arts programs. Abilene began investing in the arts and downtown revitalization when I was born and my lifetime has proven to me the difference that investment makes. Museums and arts programs are vital to community health and well-being. My role advocating for artists and the value of art in our daily lives is important economic and quality of life work for our community.
What are three daily habits that have helped you to become successful? Time block tasks, Shut my door once a day to take a break to recharge. Work towards a zero inbox each day.
Who is the person who most influenced you in business? Guy “Cliff” Vanderpool (Director of Development and Communications, Amon Carter Museum of American Art) continues to be a thought leader and guidepost for advocacy, professionalism, and leadership within the field - as well as a thoughtful and caring friend and colleague.
What is the best advice you have ever received? To advocate for your point of view, write out what you want to say, edit out all of the feelings, then present. It’s the best way to get to the core of any issue and to bring others on board.
What was your first summer job? In high school I taught piano composition to younger students for my teacher, Sherry Frush.
Where will we find you enjoying your hard-earned time off? In Shackelford County on our family land with all the dogs.
If you were to give one piece of advice to someone starting out in your field what would it be? Form connections to colleagues across the field and region who have similar jobs to you as well as those who have the jobs you want. Knowing who to call when you have a question is the most valuable asset in the arts, museums, and non-profits. Our community is small and want to help each other.
Texas Association of Museums Board - Secretary/Membership Chair 2019-Present, Councillor at Large 2016-2019
Texas Association of Museums - Art Affinity Group Chair 2016-Present
Abilene Downtown Association - Vice President 2020-Present
Frontier Texas! Board - Ex-officio member 2021-Present
Aztec Theatre Board (Albany, TX) - Member 2011-2013
Permian Basin Museum Association - President 2010-2012
Parents: Nancy and David Bridges
Sister: Sarah McKee
Partner: Larry Braddy