Meagan Nordmann Rhodes, BMus’09, says the perfect job “fell into my lap.”
After having a self-described “crisis moment” during her senior year that left her doubting her aspirations as an oboist, Rhodes began looking for something that combined the arts with the regular hours of an office job. After confiding her interests to Kip Bennett, chef and manager of C.T. West, the restaurant in the basement of Carmichael Towers on campus, he handed her a copy of Nashville Arts Magazine and asked if she would be interested in working for something like it.
“His wife had written for the first issue,” Rhodes says, “and he mentioned me to her, and she mentioned me to the editor, who called me up and said, ‘Would you like to work for us in an internship?’ ”
Ten days later, he offered her a paying position at the monthly magazine. Now production manager, Rhodes has worked her way up since the internship started in November 2009. On September 1, she added website maintenance to her roster of job duties after the magazine launched Art Now Nashville, a website that provides timely criticism of classical music and jazz performances, visual arts, theater, dance and opera—something the production schedule of the printed monthly could not accommodate.
“John Pitcher, former music critic for the Washington Post and NPR, came up with the idea,” Rhodes says. “He had moved here and was used to fast-paced classical music criticism and there was none. Alan Valentine [CEO of the Nashville Symphony] sent him to us, and a week later we were signing the paperwork. A month later we had the site up.”
It was a crazy month for Rhodes, but the work has been worth it.
“We’ve had more than 40,000 views since September 1,” she says. “The other day I looked at it and there were 700 views in one day.”
Rhodes loves the variety in her job. “It has worked out great for me these last two years,” she says, “and every time I see Kip, I say thanks for the job!”
For more, see the Art Now Nashville website at artnownashville.com.
© 2016 Vanderbilt University | Photo credit: John Russell