Introductions are always difficult. Slightly awkward in person. Definitely daunting in writing. And yet that’s how we’ve been asked to begin our blogs for this amazing salon. So here we are…Hello!
My short professional bio (click on my name above) is a nice clean paragraph and offers a basic overview, but here’s a bit more:
1. Albuquerque pulled me in. Something about it—an indescribable, magical (yes, magical!) quality—inspires me and all of the most wonderful people I know here to be kind of hyperactive. We feel indelibly influenced by the vitality it presents and the promise it offers. Yes, we anthropomorphize (5 syllables! 25 points!) this place. It’s hard not to, when it’s so very alive.
2. I love this community. This means that most everything I do relates to how I can contribute to its enrichment. I really hope you know what I mean.
3. Today, my favorite things are: my husband, Alex; our very fat cats and darling house in Nob Hill, an ABQ neighborhood; the colors fuchsia, burnt orange, and celadon; the taste of green chile on a perfectly cooked medium rare burger at Holy Cow; the feeling of almost accidentally picking up the cue ball; the clarity of being at such high altitude.
4. When we (in the field) talk about leveraging impact, I think we mean reinforcing beauty, inspiring investment, making change.
5. The young, visionary creative professionals in Emerge Albuquerque—the Americans for the Arts Emerging Leaders Network I had the privilege of co-founding and adore co-chairing—are among the most inspiring, interesting people I’ve ever encountered.
6. This is more than you wanted to know.
Which brings me back to the most important number 5: Emerge Albuquerque.
At this time last year, Sherri Brueggemann (City of Albuquerque Public Art Manager) match-maked me and one of her marvelous staff members, Brendan Picker. She said that we were on the same page, that we both wanted to establish a group that would bring our contemporaries together, offer opportunities for partnership and, ideally, enhance the vitality/pull of this place.
Brendan and I started *formally* plotting and, in June, under the auspices of Americans for the Arts, Emerge Albuquerque convened for the first time.
Since then, the Emerge Albuquerque Directors Council—a dedicated group of 20 up and coming creatives from diverse fields—has (let’s try bullet points this time):
- Determined our mission/vision: To bring together young(ish!) creative leaders in dialogue and collaboration, encouraging spaces for innovation, passion, and playfulness. We aspire to nurture and keep alight the creative spirit of our community. In so doing, we make Albuquerque the best place in the whole universe;
- Developed an informal organizational structure, operating guidelines, and programming priorities;
- Established a tradition of Second Hour Salons, the social time that follows our regular monthly business meetings;
- Held our first event (in January), a SHOWOFF performance and exhibition inspired by elementary school science fairs and talent shows. Each council member contributed in one way or another—and invited a handful of their most creative/innovative/Burque-loving colleagues, collaborators, friends, family, significant others;
- Agreed to/begun work towards constructing project-focused, community enrichment programming that will launch in the coming months.The group is committed to building something(s) valuable to our city, avoiding duplication of efforts, ensuring that our projects are maximally impactful and demonstrating a certain level of innovation. We want to make spaces for creativity and collaboration, and we want to see the results.
Presently, we are weighing proposals from all of our council members and working on a concrete, strategic plan to move us forward. It’s an exciting time, and I’m so looking forward to participating as it unfolds!