Posts Tagged 'work pals'

Work Pals with Wendell

When we were assigned work pals, Amy and I were both intrigued and excited about being matched up with Wendell Sneed. Although we had seen him around the Museum, we didn’t know a lot about him or the work he did at the DMA. Following the meeting, several coworkers also shared their excitement about our partnership with Wendell- sending links that revealed his role in the Dallas jazz and funk scene in the 1960’s and 70s. Although black musicians in Dallas at that time struggled with segregation, Wendell, a drummer, and Roger Boykin, a guitarist, organized the first and only South Dallas Pop Festival and founded Soultex Records.

Wendell with Soul Seven, who performed at the South Dallas Pop Festival.

Wendell with Soul Seven, who performed at the South Dallas Pop Festival.

Today, Wendell, who has worked at the DMA for over twenty years, is the Program Coordinator for Jazz in the Atrium, a free event every Thursday night during which visitors enjoy food, drinks, and live jazz performances. Before we became work pals, we were unfamiliar with the process of how Jazz in the Atrium is organized, but after getting to know Wendell a bit more and enjoying our own night of jazz, we were able to better understand all the hard work that goes into organizing such a lively Museum event.

Jazz in the Atrium brings in large crowds to the Museum every Thursday and as Wendell explained to us, many families and couples have been attending for years. He also revealed that prospective artists often approach him at the event about their interest in performing. Wendell welcomes this interest and invites artists to send him a press pack and a demo. He then does research to find out if the artist is performing in the Dallas area. If they are, he makes an effort to listen to them live. He sometimes he doesn’t let the artists know that he is planning on attending and stands somewhere in the venue where they can’t see him. This helps Wendell to get a good feel for the artists’ ‘true sound.’

Wendell’s favorite part of organizing Jazz in the Atrium is when his chosen artists finally perform. The night that we attended, we had the privilege of listening to jazz artist Breggett Rideau. A 2009 Grammy Nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album, Breggett is a New Orleans native who now resides in the Dallas area and performs at the DMA multiple times a year.

Wendell welcomes jazz lovers and introduces Breggett Rideau.

Wendell welcomes jazz lovers and introduces Breggett Rideau.

Breggett Rideau impresses the crowd last Thursday night.

Breggett Rideau impresses the crowd last Thursday night.

Throughout the past two months, we have truly enjoyed the time we’ve spent with Wendell. His passion for music is contagious and he enjoys sharing it with everyone he meets. We look forward to learning more from him during the rest of our internship at the DMA and encourage everyone to check out a night of Jazz in the Atrium this holiday season!

Amy and Amelia

Amelia Wood
McDermott Intern for Family and Access Teaching

Amy Elms
McDermott Intern for Visitor Engagement

Friday Photos: Work Pals on the Job!

In an effort to build relationships, mutual understanding and internal support, the Education Division decided to institute work pals. Check out some of the new confidants and buddies that have been formed by just drawing names from a hat! Think about ways that you can boost morale, have fun, and establish these types of working relationships in your workplace.workpal

Work pals Rhiannon and Amanda love sending notes of encouragement and fun gifts throughout the week. Rhiannon is our Volunteer Coordinator and Amanda is the C3 Program Coordinator.


Amanda, Head of Family, Access, and School Experiences, and Andrea, Interpretation Specialist, bond by grabbing a cup of joe. They make the perfect work pals! Amanda said, “something I found out about Andrea is that she loves color, interior design, and I am super impressed by her crafting abilities. She is making all of the bouquets and centerpieces for her upcoming wedding! We of course both love dogs and talked about a future work pal dog date!”


These two share a love for family and togetherness! Melissa, C3 Gallery Manager, and Leah, Manager of Early Learning Programs, really enjoy their time together exploring the collection!

Amy and Amelia

McDermott Interns Amy and Amelia have been spending a lot of quality time with Wendell, our Jazz in the Atrium Program Coordinator. Amy and Amelia are planning to shadow Wendell during Jazz in the Atrium and learn all about what he does in the Adult Programming department. These two admire Wendell and say that he is a very funny and humble man.


Our Head of Adult Programming and our Teaching Specialist decided to get to know each other better while they attended the State Fair of Texas during our annual Education Fair Day. Stacey and Danielle give a big thumbs up as they said howdy to our very own Big Tex!

Sarah and Hayley

And here’s Sarah, Assistant to the Chair of Learning Initiatives, and McDermott Intern Hayley, also enjoying the State Fair of Texas! They tried the 2013 Big Tex Choice Award Winner for Most Creative: Fried Thanksgiving Dinner. They also discovered that they are both Anglophiles who love the Royal Family. But while Sarah dreamed of marrying Prince William, Haley had her eyes on Prince Harry!

Here are a few suggestions to do with your work pal:

  • Meet for coffee/tea to learn more about your duties or role.
  • Brainstorm together on future projects–It’s a great opportunity to gain a fresh perspective.
  • Send each other encouraging emails or handwritten notes!
  • Shadow each other for a few hours to gain more knowledge of your respective positions.
  • Take some tips from my co-workers by getting to know one another and having a little fun on the job!

Amanda Batson
C3 Program Coordinator


Flickr Photo Stream