We had the good fortune of connecting with Kendall Quirk and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kendall, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking.
There are a lot of moments I think back to and wonder what would’ve happened if I had made a safer choice for either myself or my career and while there’s no way to know what “could have been”, I’m grateful I risked so much. My first risk was choosing to be an English major. So many people would laugh and ask what I could possibly want to do after school with that degree. In reality, it has been a huge asset in my life and I’m so glad I took a risk to learn how to read, analyze, reflect, and write in a way that has benefited my career so much. Most employees of non-profits would talk about the risks of working in this industry. It’s hard work physically and mentally, and often really challenges your values and character. When I started at the Arlington Museum of Art, it was an even smaller organization, but was starting to grow. I knew that I was playing the long-game. I was going to see the success of the organization, but I would have to be patient and know that it wouldn’t come easily. It was a risk to my career to start in that position, but I’m immensely grateful to be where I am now. I look forward to more risks, especially risks that will positively impact the organization and contribute to its growth.

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Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
When I’m working on finding an exhibit, there’s nothing more exciting than finding “the one”. The One that fits into the schedule, fits with our goals, and excites everyone. There are a few exhibits on the horizon that really get me excited when we talk about them in meetings or in our planning, and I can’t wait to share those. Many times, we’re working on an exhibition for years before we’re able to publicly announce it and when people finally get to share our excitement, it’s truly the best feeling.

Exhibits are not easy, actually quite the opposite. There are a lot of details, people, logistics, and so much more that goes into each one. Some challenges are far greater than others, but having a supportive staff who help solve those challenges makes all the difference.

Personally, I’ve found that being a young woman in a position of leadership has been one of the biggest challenges in my career. While it’s made me more strong in my convictions and decisions, it’s been difficult to learn how to stick up for myself in situations where that shouldn’t be necessary. I really enjoy working with young up-and-comers in the field because I want them to know that their voice is valued and heard.

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Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m an Arlington girl through-and-through so we’ve got to hit some of Arlington’s top spots! Prince Lebanese and Hurtado Barbecue are always a hit with friends, so those are a must. 4 Kahunas Tiki Lounge in Downtown Arlington is another secret spot that has such a fun atmosphere. The bartenders are fantastic and are always willing to make something special. I would definitely take a friend to an Arlington Renegades game and then to Hearsay in Choctaw Stadium. For something during the day, why not tour through the Arlington Museum of Art?

In the greater DFW area, Meow Wolf is another fun, unique spot to take an out of towner. Any of the wineries in Grapevine are a fun spot to sit for an afternoon with a group. I recently tried Carbone Vino in Dallas with friends and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, so how about a nice dinner there? Lastly, no trip to DFW is complete without a day at the Stockyards.

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The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When I say it takes a village, I mean it! There’s a small army of people that deserve my thanks for any success I’ve had in my career. First, my current boss Chris Hightower, who has been the backbone of the Arlington Museum of Art for so long and has led me into the position I am now. He’s trusted me to take over the vision for exhibitions, which is such an important aspect of our operations. My parents have both been very supportive of my career choices and always show up to help when I call or attend an exhibition opening. I have so many friends who have been a listening ear when I needed it over the years, or given opinions on exhibitions. Lara, Shelby, Kennah, and so many others have been my unofficial therapists. The staff at the AMA, especially Natalie, have been so supportive during our all-hands-on-deck days. I really couldn’t do anything with them. I’d also like to thank my book club who encourages me to escape into different worlds when I get home.

Website: https://arlingtonmuseum.org

Instagram: @arlingtonmuseum

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kendall-quirk-05540494/

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