There’s a new face at the Yeiser Art Center and it’s not hanging on the gallery walls. The new persona is energetic Executive Director Josh White. Originally from Savannah, White graduated from Western Carolina University with a degree in history. We sat down with Josh to discuss the Yeiser and his new LIFE in Paducah.
How did you become interested in museum management? I interned during college at the Mountain Heritage Center at Western Carolina University. The curator of the museum recognized my interest in the area and really became my mentor and helped me develop that interest into a career.
How did you come to the Yeiser? My mentor encouraged me to join the Southeastern Museums Conference and I went to the annual meeting last year. I met so many amazing people, including Julie Harris at the River Discovery Center, who told me the Yeiser was looking for a director.
What surprised you the most about Paducah? I didn’t know what to expect. The town I went to college in was small. People consider Paducah a small town but the difference is that Paducah has such an interesting culture and community. You’re never sitting home wishing for something to do. There are always things to do and events to go to - not at all the sleepy little town I expected.
What would you tell a young professional moving to Paducah for the first time? To be ready! It’s not New York City of course, but there is ALWAYS something to do here. I think if you’re somebody that anticipates a small town atmosphere, then be warned!
What exciting things are on the horizon for the Yeiser Art Center? We will be expanding our educational programming, which is a primary goal for me. Educational programming is essential because as long as you can build relationships with children in your space they will be invested in your institution and be your future patrons.
What would you like our readers to know about the Yeiser? It’s a new day for the Yeiser. I have met many people who remember the Yeiser when there was more education programming, an energetic and committed Friends of the Yeiser program, and involved volunteers. I would like them to know those programs AND MORE will be back and better. It’s time for everyone to come home to the Yeiser!