Where did you grow up? South Carolina – in the Upstate and the Lowcountry.
What is your favorite song, artist, musical memory? What an impossible question… I feel like I’d have to combine so many things, so I’ll note the following formative musical memories that I’m really lucky to have: 1. My family always made music when we got together (whether it was bagpiping or old hymns and folk songs). 2. I grew up listening to my mom’s original vinyl of Joni Mitchell’s Blue. 3. I always saved all my money to go to shows and buy records. 4. I’ve had some truly transcendent moments with classical music in various places ranging from small practice rooms to airplanes to famous concert halls.
Favorite meal or restaurant? My grandma’s kitchen in Abbeville, SC.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee – black.
You’re stuck on a desert island… what book, music/album/artist and movie
do you want with you? Book: An anthology of some sort – Rumi? Poe? Neruda? Music: Too many to choose, so I’ll plan on bringing my guitar or banjo instead. Movie: Jaws.
What’s your pet situation? I live my pet dreams vicariously through my neighbor’s animals.
What’s your title and how would you describe your role? Community Partnerships Manager – I manage the education programs that happen outside (and a few inside) of our building. This role keeps me energized and busy and constantly stretching creative muscles – from grant writing to direct classroom teaching to training teaching artists to social media to providing professional development to RI and MA teachers. Best job I’ve ever had!
How long have you been at the RI Phil? 3.5 years.
What brought you to the RI Phil? My husband went to RISD and I went to BU, so I spent a lot of time in Providence as a college student (and loved it here!). After a few years as a teacher in public schools in Chicago and Brooklyn, we decided to head back to New England. I was looking for teaching jobs and I got to wondering about who was providing some of the great supplemental activities I was seeing in schools which led me to the Phil. When I saw the breadth of what the institution offered, I knew I had to get involved, and the Community Partnerships position had just opened up. The rest is history!
What do you want people to know about the RI Phil? Here at the Phil, not only can our team articulate our core values, but our faculty, staff and musicians live them each and every day. We value artistry and education equally and our team works tirelessly to ensure that as many folks as possible in our region have access to our incredible programming. When any new opportunities come our way, the very first question is “how will this further our mission?” which is intentional, refreshing and bold and helps us serve our community in meaningful ways. If you’ve ever considered coming to a concert or taking a lesson or asking questions about any of our work, I encourage you to do so!
How are you keeping yourself occupied while being at home all day? Putting in all the hours it takes to come up with new and exciting ways to continue engaging our community! When I do get a moment and the weather cooperates, you can catch me social distancing on a river’s edge or out at a pond fishing. I’ve also been playing a LOT of music to keep up my chops.
Any words of wisdom to help others through this? Lean on who you love, prioritize your mental health alongside your physical health (consider seeing a therapist in addition to trying that new workout and hand-washing routine), and be gentle with yourself and your neighbor.