Recently the Contemporary Art Museum Club held its first major professional workshop. Part of CAM Club’s mission is to provide students with the skills needed for successful museum event planning, facilitation and promotion. From opening events to artist talks, CAM Club wants students to be prepared for major museum duties and have skills applicable to a range of fields.
Members of CAM Club gather at the USF Contemporary Art Museum to participate in two professional workshops.
Thursday, April 6th, we received two enlightening courses on Event Planning and Public Relations. The workshop took place in the Contemporary Art Museum’s conference room. Each student present received a packet that included a biography of the speakers and materials needed for the workshop. Our instructors for the evening were Alyssa Cordero, the Contemporary Art Museum’s very own events coordinator, and Suzanne Williamson, a New York PR and marketing strategist.
Alyssa began the workshop by giving us an overview of event planning, detailing the basic responsibilities and what it takes to be a successful event planner. She also provided us with a general checklist that broke down major tasks and provided a rough timeline of when the tasks should be completed. After her presentation, Alyssa answered our questions on negotiating prices, picking up supplies, arranging security, and where she gets her treasured flowers. She closed her portion of the workshop by telling us what she went over may not have been an exhaustive list of responsibilities, but the keys to a successful event are time management and communicating with others.
Suzanne Williamson leads members of CAM Club in a public relations exercise within the galleries at USFCAM.
Suzanne Williamson, former photo editor of ARTnews magazine, worked as a PR specialist for Andrea Smith Public Relations in New York City. Here in Tampa, Suzanne is using her skills to help local artists. She expressed that the essence of public relations is being an advocate for your client. It’s the job of the PR agent to interpret the words of their client and turn them into an invitation for the public. Suzanne says interaction and engagement with your audience is vital for success. She gave us a trial in being an advocate. We were tasked with walking through the Buried Alone exhibition and selecting an artist on which to write a press release title. Suzanne asked us to capture the essence of the artist’s work while being concise. It was difficult for many of us to craft a captivating headline, but Suzanne gave each of us pointers on how to refine our ideas.
This workshop was instructive yet engaging and provided us with knowledge we might have not otherwise gained.
BA Undergraduate, English
College of Arts and Sciences
University of South Florida