Exploring Museum Careers

"Exploring Museum Careers" wording in red on pink background, with date below.

Interested in a museum career? Join us Thursday, February 10, at 5:30 pm, for an evening exploring a variety of museum careers with a special group of museum professionals, including Skidmore alumni. Geared toward Skidmore College students and recent graduates, this Zoom event will offer students the opportunity to hear first-hand about various types of museums and the variety of jobs within them. The event will also be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and to network with the panelists and each other.

Panelists for this event include:

  • Camille Brown, Curatorial Assistant at The Phillips Collection

  • Darius Epps, Fellowship and Intern Program Coordinator at Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

  • Hilary Katz ‘13, Manager of Teacher Initiatives, The Phillips Collection

  • S. Ryan Schmidt, Senior Exhibition Lighting and A/V Designer at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

  • Leah Schwaikert '17, Development Writer at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

  • Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy, Independent Curator

  • Neil Wu-Gibbs, Chief of Staff & Director of Special Events and Board Relations at the Museum of Chinese in America

The moderators for the event are Evan Little '22, the 2020-21 Charina Endowment Fund Endowed Intern at the Tang, and Maria Staack '22, 2020-21 Meg Reitman Jacobs Endowed Intern. Both are also members of the Tang Student Advisory Council.

This online event is free and open to Skidmore students and recent graduates. The format will be a one-hour moderated panel discussion via Zoom Webinar. Links provided upon registration. Closed Captioning will be provided. Register via Zoom.

Exploring Museum Careers is co-sponsored by the Skidmore College Arts Administration Department.

About the Participants

Camille Brown is the Curatorial Assistant at the Phillips Collection. Prior to joining the Phillips, Camille assisted on the exhibitions Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965 - 2018 at the Whitney Museum, Tony Oursler: Tear of the Cloud at the Public Art Fund, and Unseen Picasso and Alternate Realities: Altoon, Diebenkorn, Lobdell, Woelffer at the Norton Simon Museum of Art. Camille received her Bachelor’s degree in History from Loyola University New Orleans, and graduated with her Master’s degree in Museum Studies from New York University where she completed her Master’s thesis titled Illuminating Difficult Histories: Art, Exhibitions, and Curatorial Strategies.

Darius Epps serves as the Fellowship and Intern Program Coordinator at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). In this role, he manages and oversees all aspects of the museum’s fellowship and internship program which offers educational and professional experiences for undergraduate and graduate students, and recent alumni to work closely with professionals and scholars in the museum field. In 2021, collaborating organization, Urban Alliance awarded him Mentor of the Year for Greater DC Region for crafting a memorable internship experience for the entire cohort that year at NMAAHC. Prior to joining the NMAAHC, Darius worked just shy of a decade at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts as the Manager for Internships and Community Programs. This position allowed him to empower artists of all ages by creating dynamic classes, and programming internships and apprenticeships to prepare the next generation of performing arts professionals for their careers. Darius is a former actor having performed in regional and touring theatre productions and received his BFA in Professional Theatre from North Carolina A&T State University.

Hilary Katz ‘13 embraces culturally responsive pedagogy in her life and work as a museum educator. As Manager of Teacher Initiatives at The Phillips Collection (Washington, DC), she designs digital resources, curriculum, and lesson plans. She teaches professional development opportunities for educators—notably, a 12-week arts integration course in collaboration with University of Maryland and a week-long Summer Teacher Institute. Katz previously worked in the Education Department at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA). She oversaw public programs, including training tour guides, directing Art Ninjas Camp, and organizing a 4,000-attendee annual Free Day. During graduate school, Katz developed and implemented tours, artmaking, and in-gallery interpretation at Dublin Arts Council (Dublin, OH). To foster students’ multicultural competencies and writing skills, Katz taught the undergraduate course Visual Culture: Investigating Diversity & Social Justice at The Ohio State University (Columbus, OH). Katz holds her MA in Art Education, specializing in Museum Education, from Ohio State; she received a BA in Art History, with Arts Administration and Italian minors, from Skidmore College in 2013.

S. Ryan Schmidt is the Senior Exhibition Lighting and A/V Designer at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Ryan is an award-winning lighting designer with a career that has spanned museum exhibitions, live events, theater, opera, and architecture. Before joining the VMFA she worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and managed an extensive freelance career that included designing lighting, projections and scenery across the globe.

Leah Schwaikert ‘17 is an experienced development professional in the nonprofit arts and culture sector. Since spring of 2021, she has served as the Development Writer for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Campaign and Restricted Giving team. Leah previously worked for Roundabout Theatre Company as the Foundation and Government Giving Officer and Board and Government Relations Assistant. Prior to her four-year tenure with Roundabout, Leah held seasonal positions with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Tanglewood Music Festival), Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and Barrington Stage Company. Leah received a Bachelor of Science in Management and Business from Skidmore College, with minors in Arts Administration and Music. She is currently enrolled in Columbia University’s Master of Science in Nonprofit Management program.

Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy is a Los Angeles-based independent curator, writer, and arts administrator of contemporary art and craft, focusing on ceramics. She has curated exhibitions at the Center for Craft, NC, Collar Works, NY, The Jane Hartsook Gallery, NY, and has upcoming projects at Mindy Solomon Gallery, FL, Crocker Art Museum, CA, and Grounds for Sculpture, NJ. Vizcarrondo-Laboy has written for publications such as The Journal of Modern Craft, American Craft magazine, Cultured, and multiple exhibition catalogs. She is the co-creator and co-host of the podcast Clay in Color. She most recently served as Assistant Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), NY. She helped organize over twenty exhibitions over six years and oversaw the Burke Prize, a prestigious contemporary craft award. She holds a BA in Art History from the University of Florida and an MA from the Bard Graduate Center, NY, in Decorative Arts, Design History, & Material Culture.

Neil Wu-Gibbs serves as a thought partner and trusted advisor to the president, who leads major special events, facilitates president-initiated projects, and manages human resources. Neil proactively identifies opportunities and supports efficient communication across the museum as the principal liaison to the board of directors and the associate board. He advocates for expanding the museum’s outreach to new immigrants of Asian descent and the Asian LGBTQ community through two initiatives, “Fashioning MOCA” and “MOCA PRIDE.”

Neil started his MOCA journey as a collections intern in 2015 and rejoined the museum in 2018. In the interim, he became a burgeoning museum professional and historian with specialties in 20th- and 21st-century fashion and a specific focus on contemporary Asian art. He was the curator of costume for the touring exhibition Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes, produced by Semmel Concerts Entertainment GmbH and Marvel Entertainment, and a curatorial researcher at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute’s spring 2017 exhibition Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between and the spring 2016 exhibition Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology.

Neil is quadrilingual, speaking English, Cantonese, Mandarin, and basic Japanese. He holds an MA in fashion studies from Parsons School of Design, The New School; a BA with honors in fashion and textile management from Nottingham Trent University in the UK; a certificate in fashion curation from the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and a certificate of human resource management from SHRM. Neil is an at-large steering committee member of the LGBTQ Alliance of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and a contributor to the LGBTQ Welcoming Guidelines for Museums. He was the awardee of the AAM’s 2017 Annual Fellowship of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion.

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