“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' "
― Fred (Mr.) Rogers
In these times of social isolation, we appreciate the “helpers" in society more than ever. New Haven is home to the passionate and the compassionate, and as we look for ways to get through the days and the weeks ahead of us, let's look toward each other. Our city came together to create Together New Haven (#togethernewhaven) as a way to highlight our community's ability to stay strong and help one another. Inspired by #togethernewhaven, the staff of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas highlights four local heroes in this first of many posts. Thank you for all you do!
Babz Rawls-Ivy, editor-in-chief of The Inner-City News, nominated by Tom Griggs, the Festival's co-director and director of development.
"Babz's bouyant optimism has the power to bring people together in times of joy and difficulty, whether in person, through The Inner-City News or—important now—her social media platforms of Facebook or WNHH 103.5 radio."
Meagan Howard, the Kitchen Manager at DESK, nominated by Allison Hadley, the Festival's volunteer coordinator
"Meagan, the Kitchen Manager at DESK, shows up six days a week to prepare and oversee food production for the food insecure of New Haven, coordinating logistics for dinner service, to-go lunches, and the weekly food pantry in addition to other programs. She’s also just the best—supportive, warm, and hilarious to work with."
Lucy McClure, multi-visual artist, photographer, and educator, nominated by Allison Hadley, the Festival's volunteer coordinator
"Lucy McClure is going gangbusters in creating art online and engaging viewership in New Haven. She was one of the first to pivot to Facebook Live, walking folks through the Nasty Women CT exhibit, and generally being a constant source of inspiration on how to make community and art in isolation."
The New Haven Pride Center and its executive director, Patrick Dunn, nominated by Eddie Chase, the Festival's patrons services coordinator
"I want to highlight the work of Patrick Dunn and the New Haven Pride Center. Since the shutdown has begun, they’ve been constantly keeping tabs on the community, reaching out with everything from COVID resources to cat videos to keep their constituents informed and entertained throughout this situation. They’ve also been doing “Fireside Chats” in place of their open office hours on Facebook and Instagram lives, and have already curated weekly Drag Artist Digital Story Hours through May to keep the artists working and LGBTQIA+ Youth Engaged."
Together New Haven has compiled the following list of resources in support of artists and the New Haven community.
Keep an eye out for more New Haven Hero nominations from staff, or email your suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Shay McGrory, Marketing & Communications Coordinator