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Northwestern State inks partnership with Natchitoches museum, state museum system

Northwestern State president Jim Henderson, Jennae Biddiscombe, director, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum; Mark Tullos Jr., Louisiana State Museum director; and Tom Whitehead, NSU special projects administrator meet to sign a cooperative endeavor agreement.
Northwestern State University
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Northwestern State president Jim Henderson, Jennae Biddiscombe, director, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum; Mark Tullos Jr., Louisiana State Museum director; and Tom Whitehead, NSU special projects administrator meet to sign a cooperative endeavor agreement.

The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum in Natchitoches has formed a partnership with its university neighbor, Northwestern State, and the Louisiana State Museum System.

Northwestern State president Jim Henderson, Jennae Biddiscombe, director, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum; Mark Tullos Jr., Louisiana State Museum director; and Tom Whitehead, NSU special projects administrator meet to sign a cooperative endeavor agreement.
Credit Northwestern State University
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Northwestern State president Jim Henderson, Jennae Biddiscombe, director, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum; Mark Tullos Jr., Louisiana State Museum director; and Tom Whitehead, NSU special projects administrator meet to sign a cooperative endeavor agreement.

The cooperative endeavor agreement between two state agencies will pave the way for collaborations in areas like marketing, programming and educational efforts, according to Doug Ireland, chairman of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and NSU’s assistant athletic director.

Only 34,000 people visited the museum in the first 18 months it was open, according to Ireland. That’s a lot less foot traffic than was forecasted in an economic impact study. The problem, he says, is the museum doesn’t have a marketing budget, so efforts from NSU could help.

“Getting resources, labor, and creative intellectual property from an institution of higher learning -- which is literally a mile away from the museum -- is an incredibly valuable resource at this point in time in our state’s financial situation,” Ireland said.

Tom Whitehead is working on the museum project for NSU. He says there are a number of programs that could benefit from hand’s on learning opportunities at the museum, including the hospitality management and tourism program and the marketing concentration in the business degree.

“The best hope we can get is for our students at NSU to have real experiences on the job working with professional people. In return, the museum system has the opportunity to bring people from campus to help staff the museum and work on special programming,” Whitehead said.

The museum opened to the public in July 2013 in a new $23 million facility.

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Chuck Smith
Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' experience to Red River Radio having started out as a radio news reporter and moving into television journalism as a newsmagazine producer / host, talk-show moderator, programming director and managing producer and news director / anchor for commercial, public broadcasting and educational television. He has more recently worked in advertising, marketing and public relations as a writer, video producer and media consultant. In pursuit of higher learning, Chuck studied Mass Communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.

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