Hello everyone, and Happy New Year!
I just returned from a trip to Evansville, Indiana, the state’s third largest city situated on a “oxbow” of the Ohio River. Nothing I read or heard prepared me for what I saw; in fact, I fell in love – hard. I saw a beautiful city, working very hard to reinvent itself into a 21st Century metropolis, without abandoning its core identity and values, many of which were painfully contradictory. This narrative sounded very familiar to me, so I dove into the challenge of shooting what I saw and felt would be opportunities for melding the old with the new, along with issues that might prove to be challenging for this unique city.
I want to also take a moment to send a huge thank you to Cynthia Sturgis-Landrum, my very best friend and CEO/Director of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library. She and her staff were so accommodating and helpful and it was a joy to spend time in conversation and reflection with all whom I encountered. Through Cyndee, I was introduced to some amazing movers and shakers like Lynn Miller Pease of Leadership Evansville, and Brittany Westbrook of the Evansville African American Museum (whom I interviewed about the south Evansville community of Baptisttown – look for it on YouTube soon). I also had a chance to meet the mayor of Evansville, Lloyd Winnecke (with the broadcaster’s voice lol). Obviously there were many others whose names escape me right now, but I’m anticipating seeing them all again real soon. I totally forgot how friendly and open my fellow Midwesterners can be. Very refreshing.
While I was there, Cyndee also introduced me to a number of hot new restaurants and cafes in Evansville. If you are a foodie (I’m not one but I can definitely appreciate a good meal), you may want to check this town out. I had my fill of some delicious, locally sourced cuisine, and learned a bit about the regional wine market as well. The arts scene is growing as well, which was very exciting to hear about and see.
I’ll be writing more about my experiences in the coming months, but in the meantime, please check out the entire series on Flickr. When I wasn’t shooting, I was chronicling my experiences on my Instagram- lots to see there as well.
And as always, I welcome your thoughts and reactions in the comments.