When I left LEO two years ago, it was one of the hardest decisions I’d made as a writer. It isn’t easy to exit a platform that provides you with such openness to speak, but I was tired. I’d talked to too many people, too many politicians, right-wing activists and religious zealots. I was done. The level of anxiety I’d been experiencing was overwhelming. Both mentally and physically, I needed a break.
When the opportunity to apply for the Arts and Entertainment editor position was shared with me, I felt a remnant of that past anxiety and apprehension but, I told myself, “THIS is your lane.”
It’s where I started. I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you my story so, let me introduce myself.
I came to LEO, first, as a music writer and spent seven years writing about everything from teaching kids about music to being stuck in traffic to the failings of local government. Before all that, I was a writer, a poet, a creator.
I cut my early creative teeth at local punk shows while making ‘zines and reading sad, love poetry at open mics. Some years later, a few of us, pre-gallery hop years, would attend friends’ art openings then head to Mike Ratterman’s 953 Clay St. warehouse to “art” and dance in the company of other art seedlings. We didn’t know that Louisville’s art scene would blossom in the way that it did but we knew that we were full with our own evolutions. We created art opportunities and, as we found funding and new avenues began to open, we made sure to pull friends along with us. It’s kind of the Louisville way.
Sometime in 2002-2003, a couple of web developers decided to create a local social network called, “Louisville Mojo.” I was friends with one of those developers and he convinced me that it wasn’t a dating site but a way to meet friends. It was certainly both. Many of you reading this got the infamous “Mojo Massage” and have children thanks to the website. I promise you, albeit hilarious, this detail is relevant.
It was Mojo that introduced me to the ladies who’d represent my final push into the artist’s life. Lisa Frye (a painter), Nancy Möise (a writer), Samantha McMahon (a photographer) and I formed an organization called Art Sanctuary. We wanted to feed our own creative urges and to be fed by the cross-pollination of our different disciplines. We held art soirees and built a monster network of artists. When I left the group, I did so to host the 2008 Terrastock Music Festival, a 4-day international music festival held at Mellwood Arts Center. In the last two years, I’ve been working on two novels, a ballet collaboration and completed an arts fellowship as a Hadley Creative.
Ahh I sound so busy. There were a lot of naps, too.
With all that said, I’ve traversed the Louisville arts landscape and am back here with a different modus operandi but always a critical eye on local issues.
Art is important to all of us. We aren’t put on this planet to simply eat, work and die. We’re here to thrive, to create and connect. That’s what an A&E section should do for its readers and that’s my goal moving forward.