Douglas County childhood I first came to Douglas County in 1982 because my family moved here and I graduated from Douglas County High School, so I’ve grown up in Douglas County. I moved back in …
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I first came to Douglas County in 1982 because my family moved here and I graduated from Douglas County High School, so I’ve grown up in Douglas County. I moved back in 1997 and have lived here ever since. I’m 50 years old.
My first job out of college — I had an advertising degree — was with the Douglas County News-Press, I was the graphic designer for the paper. That’s how I ended up back in Castle Rock.
I later lived in Parker for 15 years but last year, I moved back to Castle Rock.
Before I came to work for Parker, I had been working at an advertising agency in Lakewood and I worked with Procter & Gamble on the Gillette brand, which meant traveling every week. I had had a child and I was just looking for something that I was more passionate about. I’ve been in marketing and branding my whole life and I was looking for a product I cared about.
A friend of mine saw the Town of Parker job posting and I thought “no way.” I have a personal passion for arts, music and theater because my dad made a living as a musician and I grew up around that. I played piano and flute and I was a drum major in high school and then I got a music scholarship to go to school but instead chose a fine arts degree and eventually I switched my major to advertising.
When I saw the posting, it was almost unbelievable that this job combined marketing with my own personal interest in art, music and theater. I couldn’t believe it. At the time it wasn’t Parker Arts, it was just the cultural department and it was just these very disparate entities under the town. So the first thing I did was brand it as Parker Arts, so people kind of knew these separate buildings were part of the cultural departments.
I’ve worked with Parker Arts for eight years and previously worked as the marketing manager and as the assistant cultural director of communications and external affairs. Eleven months ago, I took over as acting cultural director. It was quite a year to take over because it was during the pandemic. It was an interesting time because we were not entirely sure we’d be able to stay open because our programming was drastically cut. Myself and the team had to get creative.
I would say the director role is even more of a high level of creating a vision for Parker Arts and deciding what role we want to play in the community and making sure we are in a position to stay relevant in the community as it continues to change and grow so we can be a part of that.
I think my favorite thing about the job is a combination of things. It’s the fact that on any given day, we could help a senior citizen who is taking an art class and learning something and feeling like they are a part of things, and we could have a “Little Mermaid” show and a little girl shows up in her princess costume and comes out so excited about theater. We might be introducing them to a lifelong love of theater. It’s all about these memories and experiences, that’s my favorite thing, that’s what we create.
What people might not realize is that everything that goes on behind the scenes to make those memories happen. There are so many talented experts that make it all seamless. You don’t even think about it, you’re just captivated by what you’re seeing on stage or learning in a classroom. We’ve got lighting and sound technicians, we’ve got facility managers, we have all these volunteers, making sure that your evening is unforgettable.
I have a 16-year-old daughter Erin, she just started driving so that’s a big priority for me still. She’s grown up around theaters as well. Also living in Colorado is amazing, we just held a free lecture about hiking in Douglas County and hiking is one of my hobbies. You don’t have to go that far to find good trails in Douglas County.
My dad is from England and my mom is from Scotland but they became American citizens and were incredibly proud to be American citizens and very patriotic. We used to have this American themed show that my sister and I would sing in and play in, we did it around the Fourth of July.
I’m finally seeing the light at the end of the COVID tunnel, I’m just so proud of the Parker Arts team for their creativity and for just pushing through. It was a hard year but I’m so proud of them and to see what we can do in this community.
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