Name: Lisa Simpson Lutts
Position: Executive director
Location: Museum Center at Five Points in Cleveland, Tenn.
First job: Cleaned rooms at a Howard Johnson
Best part of the job: “I guess my favorite part is when I see the ‘ah ha’ look on people’s face when they’ve learned something new. We have a lot of different types of learning experiences here from exhibits to education programs. They range from adults to kids. It’s really wonderful to get to give people the opportunity to learn about something they’ve never known before. I just think that’s a wonderful part of the job. I think at heart anyone who works in a museum is a teacher and an educator. Although I rarely get to do that, because my job is largely about fundraising and managing the museum, there are many times I am out there and I also get to help teach. And that is really rewarding.”
Worst part of the job: “It can be stressful at times. The new way museums now are, museum directors are now everything. We’re juggling a million things from having to raise lots and lots of money to filling in cleaning the bathrooms. We definitely have to be a jack of all trades, and it can be pretty stressful at times.”
What she’s learning: “Working in museums and nonprofits has taught me how to reach out to people of all types. It’s allowed me to meet people I would never meet otherwise, and I think that’s really opened my eyes to a wide variety of experiences that I probably would never have had if I hadn’t worked in museums.”
How to make a career of it: Simpson Lutts has a bachelor’s degree in art history from University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in art history and museum studies from George Washington University. “Getting your master’s is valuable. You don’t always have to have it, but it can help.” She also recommends volunteer work.
Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...