I began my journey a long time ago before I even knew where I was headed. I was born and raised in Riverhead, on a local farm. I moved out of Riverhead as a young adult to seek opportunity that was not available for me here. I moved back home during my divorce and began my 2nd wave of life in Riverhead as a single mother of 3 young children. With no way to work full time with 3 kids (who could afford child care!) I began to blaze my way.
I ended up working on Main Street as Director of Marketing for the Suffolk Theater, a private company. While working there, I began to have a different outlook on my downtown from my childhood years and soon discovered my passion for my downtown that came from a sense of pride and intimate knowledge of it. I remember we did a shoot for “Orange is the New Black” and Jodi Foster was there. Not being starstruck but thinking they picked the location for a reason, I appointed myself as her downtown Riverhead and Suffolk Theater tour guide, where I chatted with her about all sorts of background info, which she seemed to enjoy. I look back now and see the foreshadow of the person I am today.
Moving on, with a natural inclination towards working in my community, I began to realize that as much as I loved my work at the Theater, I was really meant for more community-oriented work and on a larger scale than working for one business. That led me to the biggest transformation of my professional career. I was introduced to a Creative Placemaking project call “Waterfire”. I began my two year apprenticeship in Creative Placemaking. Creative Placemaking is an evolving field of practice that intentionally leverages the power of the arts, culture and creativity to serve a community’s interest while driving a broader agenda for change, growth and transformation in a way that also builds character and quality of place.
Website built by me: http://waterfireinternational.com/