December 2023, Charlotte R. Hendrix

December Member of the Month: Charlotte R. Hendrix, Director of Communications and External Relations at The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University

Charlotte R. Hendrix is the Director of Communications and External Relations at The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University. Thank you Charlotte for your membership with AAMG!

What’s one thing — either industry/work-related or not — you learned in the past month?

I am curious about AI as it relates to content generation and helping us with our work. Let me stress IN ALL CAPS one should always rewrite, proof and fact-check, fact-check, fact-check. And, proof again; But, the tip I learned is to think of the prompt the same way you would if delegating the task and mentoring an intern. For better results, be clear, state the goal, share any constraints or background and advise on tone.

I also discovered Scribe, which can document workflows by recording your desktop or browser and automatically generating step-by-step instructions. I also discovered Read, which transcribes Zoom meetings and pulls out action items.

What do you value about your membership with AAMG?

AAMG connects me with other professionals be it by listserv, virtual or in-person conferences. The best practices are inspiring, and it is reassuring to hear that the challenges we face at our institution (or opportunities) are often shared by others, big or small.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

I would trade places with television star and Tony-award-winning actress Sutton Foster. Can you imagine the experience of performing on Broadway? In 2019, I had the distinct pleasure of “auditing” a masterclass with her here at Auburn—well, sneaking a peek from the balcony anyway. She shared that even she has doubts or nerves before stepping on stage. She mentally prepared by saying to herself, “I’m 44 years old, I’ve worked hard for 30 years to get to this level, I deserve for this to be good.”

Coffee or Tea?

I love coffee with Silk’s “The Oatmeal Cookie One.”

Book/Author suggestion?

I am reading The Phantom Tollbooth with my eight-year-old.I believe I missed it the first time around. I probably need to make more time to read for pleasure by myself, but it is one of the best parts of my day to spend with him, plus I get to relive some of my favorites.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

As early as the first grade I wanted to be a movie studio executive.

What do you enjoy most about being a part of an academic museum?

For me, it’s the proximity to higher education and service at a publicly funded research university. A transplant from the film and television industry, I have had great opportunities to learn and grow—and I am still learning.    

What are your hopes for our industry?

My hope is to create distance from the old-school stereotype and tweak the rules. Artists innovate and create new ways of working, so why not museums?