For Chris Rudisill, the new executive director of the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Fort Lauderdale, the position is “the culmination of everything I’ve done in my career.”
A North Carolina native, Rudisill began working in the museum industry for a short time after college, then wrote an LGBT column for “The Sun News” in Myrtle Beach, S.C., before settling in the Tampa Bay area for five years, where he served as executive director of St. Pete Pride and most recently, director of LGBT community center services for Metro Wellness and Community Centers.
“I was a ‘voice’ for the community at the paper, worked ‘with’ the community at Pride and then worked ‘for’ the community (at the center),” he said.
In this new position, Rudisill hopes to continue expanding the Stonewall Museum’s mission and outreach nationally, working for “the” LGBT community.
In the wake of landmark advances in recent years, he warns the LGBT community cannot become complacent and, instead, must preserve our history. Rudisill said the community must also be mindful that today’s headlines will become a part of future history.
“Young people, especially, need to see how far we’ve come in such a short time, but also appreciate that more advances are on the horizon,” Rudisill added.
He’s particularly excited about the museum’s education project and plans to encourage the continued development of interesting curriculum, not just to tell the history of the LGBT movement, but rather perspectives of the community’s place in the greater arc of human history.