When You Work at a Museum: Vince Hart

There is a saying that nice guys finish last. In actuality, nice guys come full circle. At least that is the case with Atlanta History Center’s Vince Hart—also known as “Mr. Nice.”

Since 2018, Vince has served as the history center’s Staffing and Operations Manager. His role entails everything from scheduling bartenders and event managers for clients looking to host events, to working in conjunction with beverage inventory, operations, and housekeeping. However, his career at Atlanta History Center started long before when Vince joined in 1995 as a part-time bartender.

“Sometimes I still bartend myself, if I can’t find a bartender,” says Vince. “I’m not too proud to do that.”

Vince joined the history center right before Atlanta received its bid to host the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. The timing was perfect because Atlanta events were experiencing a heyday.

“I met somebody who knew Robin Defoe, who was one of the first people I met because she worked in the Private Events department. That was the start of a beautiful relationship with Atlanta History Center, and I’ve been here since.”

Vince is from West Philadelphia. Yes, born and raised–long before the Fresh Prince made it popular. He fell in love with learning due to his mother working for the Philadelphia Library System and the significant American history of his home state. Frequently, he traveled to Atlanta during the summers while growing up and decided to make it his permanent home after graduating high school. The rest was history. For Vince, that cliché had new meaning after landing at Atlanta History Center.

Over the span of his career, he has met an interesting variety of notable people—former U.S. Senator Bob Dole, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former professional stock car racing driver Michael Waltrip, and a Polish water polo athlete who showed off his sharpened toenails to Vince in the middle of an event he was working. But the celebrity that tops it all? None other than Georgia’s own Ray Charles.

“Ray Charles was here and gave what was probably one of his last performances in the Swan House Gardens,” said Vince. “I made sure I worked that event, and my bar was not far from where he was singing.”

Much like when he is working, Vince can be found doing an array of things outside of work, too. He’s an avid bowler and competes in a league once a week. He is a self-taught pianist who can play by ear. Occasionally, Vince will escape over to the Swan House mansion and play the piano located inside. It is an easy-going lifestyle for a just-as-easy-going guy.

No matter where he is, you can always find Vince being kind.

“My model is to be kinder than necessary,” said Vince. “It’s a little thing you can do for somebody that could make their day.”

The next time you visit Atlanta History Center, be sure to immerse yourself into the entire experience–it would make Vince’s day.

“I know it sounds corny, but I really do enjoy seeing people enjoy our space and enjoy everything that we do. That’s probably the most enjoyment I get out of working here.”

Meet Vince Hart and the rest of the Private Events team by scheduling a site tour or booking your next event at Atlanta History Center.