An enthusiastic and creative leader has been named the fourth director of the Eudora Welty House and Garden by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Lauren Rhoades, who has been serving as public assistance specialist for the last year and a half, has been working with guests of all ages, helping develop programing, and managing the gift shop at the Welty Education and Visitors Center. She says she is honored to move into the director’s position and excited about helping preserve Welty’s legacy.
Rhoades is shown here leading a tour of the Welty House and Garden for a Millsaps College art class taught by Dr. Elise Smith, also pictured.
A writer herself, Rhoades has been pursuing an M.F.A. in creative non-fiction from Mississippi University for Women and holds degrees in English, Spanish, and political science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She enjoys free-lance writing and has a special interest in food and nutrition.
Prior to joining the Welty House staff, she worked with Food Corps, leading nutrition and garden education for Raines Elementary School and Magnolia Speech School. Before moving to Jackson, she lived and worked in marketing and outreach in Washington, D. C., and in the sustainable food initiative in Wisconsin.
Recently Rhoades worked with writer Ellen Ann Fentress to put together a public program on Eudora Welty and the late journalist Bill Minor featuring Fentress’s film documentary about Minor and three writer friends of the two. The panel from that event is featured here: from left, Fentress, Fred Anklam, JoAnne Pritchard Morris, Cleta Ellington, and Rhoades.