VIEW OF SYRACUSE
REBA RETURNS BY A S H L E Y M . C A S E Y | P H OTO G R A P H Y BY C O R T N E Y M Y E R S
The Great New York State Fair gets even greater with the Queen of Country in town.
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Long time, no see? Not for country superstar Reba McEntire, who returns to Syracuse on Aug. 25 for the Great New York State Fair. Reba who will be performing at the Grandstand, last stopped at the Fairgrounds on June 15 for the Good Sam RV Rally. Still performing songs from her 2010 album All the Women I Am, Reba and her band are looking forward to get back into touring. Although the singer-actress’ ABC sitcom Malibu Country was canceled in May, Reba still has plenty to keep herself busy. That includes gearing up for the fall wedding of her stepson, Brandon Blackstock, and his fiancée, American Idol — and Reba’s friend of more than a decade — Kelly Clarkson. Today’s CNY Woman caught up with Reba during a rare breather in her schedule.
Q: Do you have a favorite memory of performing in Syracuse? A: [Vince Gill and] I came there one year many years ago and there came a really bad storm and rained us out. People were out in the Grandstand, in the vomitory, and hanging out waiting for this to blow over and [it] didn’t look like it was going to. Vince and I came out with Vince playing on the guitar and we sang several numbers for the folks so they wouldn’t go home empty-handed. It was a fun night. It was a bad deal with Mother Nature raining us out, but we did get to perform a little bit for the folks that [came ]to see our show. You can’t mess with Mother Nature, as we all know. Q: What can the audience expect from your show at the Grandstand this year?
A: It’s a show that tells a little bit about how I got to where I am today, and I tell it with a few stories and songs that I’ve recorded throughout my 37-year career. My band is wonderful — they’re great, and we just have a really good time onstage. The last tour that we did … was All the Women I Am so I guess that’s kind of carrying over a little bit. These stories do tell about all the women I am: the mother, the entertainer, the wife, the sister, the daughter. It’s a good mixture of all the women I am inside coming out in song. Q: What music have you been listening to lately, even though you’re not recording? A: Oh, I listen to all kinds of music. Usually … I’m listening to our demo songs that I can choose to go in and
“You’ve gotta be different. You’ve gotta stand out, and not be a cookie-cutter.”
WHERE: New York State Fair Grandstand COST: $55, $45, $35 INFO: Visit nysfair.org to purchase tickets.
record. But I’m listening to a lot of radio and trying to learn all the new people in country music, like Kacey Musgraves — she’s a brand-new act in country music that I ain’t even got to meet yet. I saw her on the awards shows, but … Florida Georgia Line — I haven’t met those guys yet, and they’re just blowing up the charts. There’s a lot of new people in the music business I’m trying to learn. Q: In a recent interview, you said you watch movies as inspiration for your music — what’s the last movie you watched? A: The last movie? Ooh, now that is hard because now I’m into series — I’m watching The Borgias right now. I don’t know what the last movie is. It’s been a while. It’s so easy now to watch movies at home that we don’t go to the theater that much. I think the last one I watched was Tom Hanks — Cloud Atlas. That was very different. Liked it a lot. Q: Since Malibu Country was canceled, do you have any other acting projects going forward that you’re thinking about? A: Nope, nope, nope, not at all. Right now we’re really focusing on the music and going back out touring. We missed it a lot because we didn’t get to do that much during the year when we were doing Malibu Country, so we’re going back full-fledged into our music.
A: We take a lot of family trips and we ground ourselves when we get home, hanging with the family and just having downtime to recharge and recollect our thoughts. Q: How do you feel about Kelly Clarkson as part of the family? A: I think she’s wonderful. Kelly and I have been friends for over 10 years. We’ve gone on vacations together, hung out, toured together, even. So she’s always been a part of the family to me, and Brandon’s two sisters, Chassidy and Shawna, they absolutely love her and have for years, way before Brandon and Kelly got together. So it’s just a natural fit for all of us. Q: There’s a lot of up-and-coming young women in country music. What do you think is important for women in the music business to know these days? A: I think you’ve gotta find your own voice. You’ve gotta be different. You’ve gotta stand out, and not be a cookiecutter. I think there’s a lot — like Kacey Musgraves, for instance — she’s doing kind of like what Loretta Lynn did back in her day. She’s saying things that [make] women go, “Wow, wish I’d have said that.” Q: What do you wish you had known when you started out? What would you tell a young woman now? A: It’s funny — that’s the part of the fun, is to learn little step-by-step from your teachers that are in the business. If I’d started out knowing what I know now,
it wouldn’t be that much fun because it’s the experiment and the “Oh my gosh! I didn’t know that!” and going with it, trying. If that didn’t work for you, you can try something else. But boy, have I learned a lot. It’s just been a great time. The best thing of all is all the people I’ve gotten to meet in my 37 years in the music business, and I can say that most of them are my friends. Q: What do you like about playing state fairs? A: I love the people. I love that it’s an eclectic group of folks, all ages, that come to the fair. It’s a wholesomeness, [a] family outing, and I just love that. It’s outdoors — again, you’re dealing with Mother Nature — but it is a great atmosphere with great folks coming to have a good time. Q: Do you have anything else that you’d like CNY Woman readers to know? A: Just thank them very much for me for all the hospitality that’s always shown when we come to Syracuse. It’s fun and memorable, and we always love to come back.
Are you a Reba superfan? If so, you could win two tickets for you and a friend to see Reba’s show at the Grandstand! Visit todayscnywoman.com/reba to enter. Tell us what your favorite Reba hit is and how it has impacted you. Don’t forget your name, phone number and email address. The deadline to enter is Tuesday, Aug. 20. A winner will be selected at random — what if it’s you?
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WHEN: 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25
WHAT: Reba McEntire with Caroline Kole
IF YOU GO
Q: Since you and your family all have busy careers, how do you all regroup and reconnect and stay a sane family?
SEEI NG SYRACUS E Eight local go-getters share their dream for a creative, collaborative Syracuse. E D I T E D BY C O U R T N E Y R A E K A S P E R A N D A S H L E Y M . C A S E Y | P H OTO G R A P H Y BY K I M B E R LY C O O K
Syracuse isn’t the perfect city. It’s gritty. It’s salty. It’s complex. And that’s the beauty of it, agreed the eight women featured in this month’s issue. To them, revitalization doesn’t mean perfection — it means connecting the disconnect among the people of Syracuse to build a stronger community. While these eight inspiring women, including, Stasya Erickson, Michele Evanson, Jen Falso, Briana Kohlbrenner, Courtney Rile, Vanessa Rose, Christi Smith and Robyn Stockdale, all hail from different backgrounds, some even
non-natives to the area, they all have one thing in common — an undeniable passion and mutual respect for Syracuse. This passion has led each woman on her own journey to taking advantage of the vast opportunity in a city where anything can happen if you will it, work hard and work together. These women along with their many colleagues and friends believe in fostering creative collaboration when it comes to enlivening Syracuse. And their big-idea visions of seeing and believing locally is a grassroots movement that is gaining momentum in the Salt City.
When we sat down with these eight women in roundtable form to discuss this issue, we were so moved by the conversation had on the lawn of the MOST that we decided to forgo the traditional editorial route and share their visions in their own words. Read on as they share their goals, hopes, wishes and dreams for the city and the challenges that come along with positive progression. We hope that you too will feel the passion, dedication and creative energy as you see the City of Syracuse through these women’s eyes.
WHAT IS …
“You can do anything you want here. You can really make things happen.” — Vanessa Rose
SYRACUSE FIRST? Syracuse First is a non-profit organization of local businesses dedicated to thinking and buying local. Since 2009, Syracuse First has contributed to sustainable economic development in Central New York. For more information, visit syracusefirst.org.
MICHELE EVANSON, 43 REPRESENTATIVE OF SYRACUSE FIRST Occupation: CEO — The Belt Project; NYS Outreach Program Coordinator — Honeywell Born in Syracuse but moved to Dryden, N.Y., at age 10 What brought you to back to Syracuse? College and family. How long have you lived here? 28 years Favorite Syracuse hangout: The Blue Tusk Dream for Syracuse: To build a skyscraper that will house new local business and will have a cool rooftop bar.
BRIANA KOHLBRENNER,37 Occupation: Arts entrepreneur, business owner, curator, artist — Echo, formerly Craft Chemistry Originally from: Brooklyn, N.Y. What brought you to Syracuse? My husband, Jason Kohlbrenner, is from here and we had a great living opportunity that we couldn’t pass up. [We] thought, “Let’s try Syracuse!” How long have you lived here? 10 years Favorite Syracuse hangout: Everson Plaza Dream for Syracuse: For more creative young people to move and stay in Syracuse and make things happen.
WHAT IS …
From left to right: Stasya Erickson, Vanessa Rose, Briana Kohlbrenner, Courtney Rile, Robyn Stockdale, Michele Evanson and Jen Falso gather on the lawn of Syracuse’s MOST for our Aug. roundtable idea exchange.
Located in the former Craft Chemistry space at 745 N. Salina St., Echo is a creative collective co-founded in March 2013 by Briana Kohlbrenner and three friends (Jeff Walter, Brendan Rose and Damian Vallelonga). Echo hosts arts events and provides a collaborative studio for local artists. For more information, visit echomakes.com or facebook.com/echomakes.
On Making Change Happen Briana Kohlbrenner:
It might just be because it’s my current vision, but … creative people are always evolving and changing their vision and that’s how we roll … Right now I am on this vision of creative people in a certain area working together and having a home together and working on things together that help the whole city be more creative and innovative, and that’s the big picture. But I think it’s all similar with everybody. It’s just that we’re all going about it in slightly different ways.
Vanessa Rose: One of the visions that I see is figuring out how we can help [get people jobs] and get them happy about living in Syracuse. Yes, it needs this creative vibe and there’s great organizations like Northside UP, but I feel like the city needs even more of that. Christi Smith: I think that stems from their sense of community. If you have a strong sense of community, then you’re going to do everything you can to make your community better. If you WHAT IS …
THUMBS UPSTATE IMPROV FESTIVAL?
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Thumbs UPstate is an annual comedy festival that has featured more than two dozen improv groups from Central and Western New York. It is organized by the Syracuse Improv Collective and Vanessa Rose. For more information, visit thumbsupstate.com or facebook. com/thumbsupstate.
know your neighbors, if you’re supporting local businesses in the neighborhood, then crime rates are going to go down because people are keeping an eye on what’s going on. … I learned a long time ago that I can’t control where I live, but I can control if I want my garden to look like this, then I can make it better and maybe that will spread to somebody else.
Courtney Rile: That’s happening right now to me. I just had someone move into a house next to me, and I live in the southwest side, which is a very borderline-rough neighborhood and there’s vacant houses … My neighbor is mowing the lawns across the street of the house that’s vacant. Now I have to step it up, and I want to see it move down the street and down South Ave. I want Syracuse to be a walking city. I want to be able to walk for miles. I want to see on every block continuity of façade. Stasya Erickson: I remember
something Bri said about how everyone is saying that the city is so disconnected and no one communicates. She said, “Why is that such a problem? We’re a city — there has to be some amount of that. That’s what makes you feel like you’re a part of a city.” She’s right. But I wish for Syracuse that those identities would become stronger and full of pride. … I want better connections between neighborhoods.
Christi Smith: It is starting to
happen. If we can help and give them the resources of what’s going on, then that will help make those connections between those neighborhoods.
WHAT IS …
NORTHSIDE UP? Northside Urban Partnership works toward revitalizing the people, places and businesses of Syracuse. Northside UP fosters artistic, financial and civic opportunities to create connections among the people of Syracuse. For more information, visit northsideup.org.
STASYA ERICKSON, 26 Occupation: Program Coordinator, Communications and Organizational Development — Northside UP Originally from: Moscow, Russia, but moved to central Pennsylvania in 1993 What brought you to Syracuse? I moved to Syracuse in 2005 to get my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting. After graduating I found myself for a variety of really random and organic reasons staying and really loving this city. How long have you lived here? 8 years Favorite Syracuse hangout: Echo (the old Craft Chemistry space turned co-working space!) Dream for Syracuse: Connected neighborhoods, connected people, pride in place.
CHRISTI SMITH, 33 Occupation: Assistant Connection Officer — NOexcuses; Paralegal — City of Syracuse, Office of the Corporation Counsel; Bartender — Al’s Wine & Whiskey Lounge Originally from: Hilton, N.Y. (Rochester area) What brought you to Syracuse? A company I had been with since 1999 was opening two stores here and asked me to move here. I was an assistant manager at one location but participated in the initial hiring training and set up for both locations. How long have you lived here? 6 years Favorite Syracuse hangout: Too many to decide. Do you want a list of my top 10? Dream for Syracuse: For everyone to have the love and appreciation for this city and the people as I do.
Stasya Erickson: We all have
our experiences. We all know why we ended up here and that we’re really passionate about the city and are fortunate to have met amazing people, and that’s why we’ve had a tumble effect. And at that point it’s like you still know there are so many hurdles and it’s the collaborations that allow you to get past them. … It’s amazing how you can meet people and how they can impact your life.
Courtney Rile: I feel like the
neighborhood pride within all the different neighborhoods in Syracuse is increasing. Syracuse has an ego issue, but through the identity of these neighborhoods, there is starting to be more pride. It makes you feel more metropolitan.
Briana Kohlbrenner: I think what else I have enjoyed about collaborating is it’s a healthy mixture of people that are native and people who come from Syracuse and have moved away and have come back and are making a change. And then you have people who
are “transplants” with very similar passion and drive. But you fuel that together and with all of our experiences from living in other cities and coming here and seeing the potential it has, it becomes a really great harmony for success.
Stasya Erickson: It can be
so overwhelming to start something of your own accord. I know I had certain ideas and just thinking, “Oh, that’s just impossible. How would I even start doing that?” People empower you by saying that your idea is interesting and that they want to work with you because they believe in you and all of a sudden they have resources. And allowing those things to develop and change over time into something bigger and stronger.
Jen Falso: You can’t help it if you’re creative, and everything we have talked about is the underlying of creativity. [It’s not just] artistic creativity — it’s financial creativity, it’s networking creativity, and that, I think, is the base of what powers the city. Vanessa Rose: It makes people
want to stay here. What interesting people want to stick around a city [where] there’s not a lot of things going on? The creative things are what makes the people stay, besides jobs. I love it when there’s a weekend when there’s so much to do and I can’t do everything.
ROBYN STOCKDALE, 37 Occupation: Owner — Graphik Nature Studios; Co-owner — Vinyl Albums Live Born in Syracuse and stayed! How long have you lived here? 28 years Favorite Syracuse hangout: So many!! Pastabilities is my favorite place to eat. Dream for Syracuse: A playground for innovators, entrepreneurs and creative people, where creative collaboration is fostered and habitual — a way of life! I’m interested in how photography, video, design, etc. can contribute collaboratively to a bigger picture. Ultimately, how I can use any and all of it to collaborate, facilitate and participate in the creation of the innovative and meaningful. WHAT IS …
NOEXCUSESSYR? Still in its experimental stage, NOexcuses hosts tours of the City of Syracuse, focusing on historical, cultural or gastronomical landmarks. For more information, visit noexcusessyr.com or facebook.com/NOexcusesSYR.
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really cool about collaborating in Syracuse: There is so much talent here and there’s so many brilliant people and we all kind of know each other. And as soon as we click and we start to work together, fantastic things happen and it’s this momentum that’s growing.
Robyn Stockdale: What’s
“What else I like about Syracuse is the pace. You’re not rushed. You can be patient and let things stew, and a year later you’ve developed something amazing.” — Briana Kohlbrenner
On Creative Collaboration
On The ’Cuse Appeal Jen Falso: I think people forget
what a great city it is, the diversity and the culture. I’m finding I’m running into people recently that have ideas and don’t know how to put them into action. I think there is a ton of great energy in this city and that’s why I stay.
Vanessa Rose: For me there’s
definitely a chunk of hometown pride … I grew up here I wanted to leave but now I’m back and I want it to be awesome, especially for my kids. I don’t like when people say, “Oh, you’re back in Syracuse…” I’m like, “Yeah I’m back in Syracuse! It’s awesome!” I don’t have one bad thing to say about Syracuse.
Robyn Stockdale: Talking
about hometown pride — yes, I have pride. I was born and raised here ... It’s gorgeous in this whole area, there’s so much to see. I love the weather; I love the change of seasons.
I think what fuels my passion to keep going and keep doing things is I just love the adrenaline and the challenge, and I’m addicted to working with these people. I find myself when I’m done with an event WHAT IS …
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DAYLIGHT BLUE MEDIA?
Founded by Courtney Rile and Michael Barletta in 2009, DLB provides innovative video, photography and design services. DLB has produced several documentaries, commercial videos and other creative projects. For more information, visit daylightblue.com.
that was so taxing, hours later, with room in my brain. I guess I just need it in my life personally and everything benefits the community. I also really love the positive feedback that we get from the creative things that we do. It doesn’t at all make me have a big ego. I’ve learned so much about myself through these experiences.
Stasya Erickson: I feel like Syracuse is kind of asking for it in a great way, saying, “I need some help and I want that,” and to not answer would be crazy. … I get such a kick out of seeing things succeed and knowing that they’re slightly against the odds, maybe totally random, and experimental. One of my favorite things to do is to attend things I wasn’t involved in. It inspires me to know that I’m just one out of the hundreds of people that are doing really incredible things in Syracuse and that I can be a part of that movement. It’s catchy, and the more you do it the more you get into it. I feel like many people don’t start. They never get past that piece where you’re sort of scared or frightened or confused or negative. It’s just that one step forward that launches you off a cliff of joy. Courtney Rile: It’s a small enough community that you meet people easily and put all the pieces together. You do have to work for it, but it is possible, and it’s received really well because there’s not a lot of it. And like someone else said, it takes work.
That actually also makes me think of
what else I like about Syracuse is the pace. You’re not rushed. You can be patient and let things stew, and a year later you’ve developed something amazing and you just keep going.
Stasya Erickson: What else is inspiring too is there are people starting to take initiative that we don’t know about, haven’t heard about, aren’t in contact with. … The idea that at one point you can take a step and take time to raise your family or go back to school or work really hard on a project that’s just about your studio work, or disappear and travel and that you’ll come back to something that is being maintained by the people in this community, and that’s OK! … You can have some sort of impact where you inspire people and then other people continue doing work that blows you away. Courtney Rile: So I think in the
beginning for me it was seeing potential in Syracuse, and that it’s not a perfect city but there’s so many opportunities to make it better. It’s on its way up and it’s so exciting to be a part of that.
Stasya Erickson: I realized there’s one thing we missed that I remember talking with Briana about: women. Man, do I love the women here! I have such great friends. I feel like I’m surrounded by women who are confident and driven and inspiring and beautiful and all ages. It’s one of those things where you think I couldn’t live in a healthier environment for becoming whatever I want to become as a woman.
“The personality of Syracuse is salty. It’s gritty … It’s not all nice but it’s kind of an underdog.” — Courtney Rile
COURTNEY RILE, 30 Occupation: Filmmaker and photographer — Daylight Blue Media Originally from Philadelphia area, Penn. What brought you to Syracuse? I came to Syracuse to go to Syracuse University (BFA in Video Art) and stayed after graduation in 2009. How long have you lived here? 11 years Favorite Syracuse hangout: Al’s Wine & Whiskey Lounge Dream for Syracuse: To be a great walking city.
On The Challenging Rewards Jen Falso: I think there are a
lot of challenges financially if, women especially, want to start a business, you do [have to] put your house on the line and take out a loan. We tried and that’s just something that was a stumbling block for us.
Courtney Rile: What’s ironic
about that is that a lot of people I know have started businesses because they can’t find a job, so you don’t have it easy either way.
JEN FALSO, 47 REPRESENTATIVE OF SYRACUSE FIRST Occupation: Entrepreneur — HuePhoria; Mom Originally from: Providence, R.I. What brought you to Syracuse? Family. How long have you lived here? 25 years Favorite CNY hangout: Green Lakes Dream for Syracuse: Cultural cohesiveness — arts, businesses, entrepreneurial resources, music, sports … with outer-lying areas as well.
Vanessa Rose: There’s a lot of
empty spaces, and it’s weird that people push back so much against activating those spaces. [By spaces, I mean] empty buildings [for hosting events and projects]. I know that Briana and Stasya and I, we’ve called owners to see if we can do something in their space and people just don’t want to deal with it. There’s some type of mentality of, “Oh, whoever owns these buildings are not willing to move on them.” And that’s not true of everybody. There have been people have been very open. But what do you do about that?
WHAT IS …
THE ONE-TAKE SUPER 8 FILM FESTIVAL? Founded in 2006 by the Syracuse Experimental Group, OTS8 is a yearly non-competitive film festival that showcases films shot with a single unedited reel of Super 8 film. Briana and Jason Kohlbrenner are the organizers. For more information, visit super8syracuse. blogspot.com or facebook.com/ syracuseOneTakeSuper8Event.
Stasya Erickson: Yeah, even
with my organizations we found a place last-minute. It’s amazing. In Syracuse these obstacles are meeting a push. You keep seeing this resurgence every few years in Syracuse And the way it gets bigger, I feel like there are more people who are joining the cause too.
Jen Falso: Yeah, it is a mental
thing, a mental issue, because I think a lot of people think of Syracuse as an industrial city, because of where it began. I think it is a frame of mind that people are shifting and they’re thinking of it more as an eclectic city where you can get quality experience through parks, through businesses, shopping. And it’s more getting to know someone’s story, and you want to support people with a story. So I think that’s happening, and it is a challenge. You do have to get your story out there.
Michele Evanson: Well, we’re going to see another influx — there’s another round of funding coming ... So there’s money there; it’s just people need to be aware of it. There’s a lot of money out there people just don’t know about. There’s no one good place that has everything and that’s changing because the city and county [are] working together. The help is out there. It’s just having to go to separate entities to get it.
“Everything we have talked about is the underlying of creativity. [It’s not just] artistic creativity — it’s financial creativity, it’s networking creativity, and that, I think, is the base of what powers the city.” — Jen Falso
WHAT IS …
“It’s not all beautiful. It’s not all perfect. And that’s how most good cities are and how they should operate.”
THE SALT MARKET? The Salt and Pepper Markets are yearly events that celebrate local artists and their unique creations. The Pepper Market only sells items $30 or less. These markets were conceived by Briana Kohlbrenner, Vanessa Rose, Stasya Erickson and Courtney Rile. For more information, visit saltmarketsyracuse. com or facebook.com/saltcityurbanart craftmarket.
— Stasya Erickson I mean, there’s so many different places you can get money.
Briana Kohlbrenner: I also
find that in our experience, when we had zero money, we had a lot of creative people coming up with really awesome collaborative community project ideas .I think what was really fun was rather than crowd funding, or looking for grant paid things, is we created our own fundraisers that became events and brought people out so it was a double great thing. And we did three fundraisers in a year and maybe only one raised $200, and others were like $1,000 or more but our projects didn’t need $15,000, $40,000 or millions… they needed $2,000 to happen. And it brought us together to create this fundraiser to create this event and get all giddy to have this money to do this project. So I think it’s also just having fun with how you find the money.
Even if you need $15,000, you can get $1,000 from doing something creative that also spreads the word about what you’re doing, attracts other people and inspires your community.
Courtney Rile: It’s the communication, it’s putting your idea out there. Christi Smith: And as challenging as it is to find money, it’s fun to be creative and find other ways around that. And I’ve learned with a lot of these things, like “How are we going to do this or that?” Sometimes it’s just asking! Especially when we have the same goal, everyone has been there, even the local businesses here. Syracuse has so many wonderful local businesses that will do anything to support anything that is going to help Syracuse. We’re planning an event this weekend, Bocce Blast, and we’re still starting we don’t really have
any capital to throw these events. But the Turbo Bocce league couldn’t play bocce yesterday because of the Corporate Challenge, so we said, “Why don’t we do an event?” So we put stuff together and we just asked! “And now we need prizes. So what are we going to do? Well, I’ll ask!” And I went around to different places that we’re friends with and they donated gift cards, prizes, T-shirts, so that people can have an awesome card to The Blue Tusk, or different things like that. People are doing good things from the community. They’re going to be able to sample local vendors and continue to spread the word.
VANESSA ROSE, 40 Occupation: Teacher, arts enthusiast Grew up in Syracuse and then left to go to college and lived in New York City for about 10 years. I came back when I had my first child. What brought you to Syracuse? Quality of life, family support, ability to make a difference. Favorite Syracuse hangout: With friends, Alto Cinco — with family, any city park!
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Dream for Syracuse: For my kids to have an awesome experience growing up here. To have more young people stay in Syracuse and make it super!
What is …
SALT CITY DISHES? Salt City DISHES (Dine In. Support Happenings. Enliven Syracuse) is a bi-annual feast of artistic collaboration founded in 2010 by Rachel Somerstein, Stasya Erickson and Briana Kohlbrenner. Area artists meet, eat and discuss potential creative projects for the City of Syracuse. Participants vote and award a grant to the top project. The winner reports on the project’s outcome at the next DISHES dinner. For more information, visit saltcitydishes.blogspot.com or facebook. com/SaltCityDISHES.
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AN ARTIST’S VIEW
After listening to the roundtable discussion with our featured women this month, local artist Kathryn Petrillo put her vision to paper (see above illustration).
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When asked to interpret her illustration, here’s how Petrillo described her artwork: • The skyline is from Burnet Park, and the trees indicate that Syracuse is a beautiful, green city. • Churches indicate historic personality of the city. Syracuse has the oldest AME Zion Church as well as others. They were part of the acceptance and tolerant attitude of inclusiveness, for example, the Underground Railroad peace activity. • The MOST along with shops and the historic Landmark Theatre — part of the city’s rich, historic culture.
• Pictured on the laptop cover is Lipe Art Park with a combination of the acceptance of legal graffiti. (There will be an Eco Fest featuring art and music open to public participation on Aug. 24.) • Blue Dragon in front showcases the fun public art that is interactive for kids and the community, and another way of depicting a kid-safe, family-friendly city. If you would like to purchase a poster size reproduction of Petrillo’s work, visit our Today’s CNY Woman booth at the New York State Fair in the Center of Progress building Aug. 22 through Sept. 2!
• The blonde female posed with her laptop is thinking about ways to create and innovate her community.
• Distinctive lamp posts with petunia bunches intermixed with art and nature and citizens enjoying a bustling and vibrant downtown area.
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• The bicycle police woman chatting with another woman indicates safety, but not brutality.
Button Earrings Based in the Hudson Valley, Button Bizarro showcases jewelry and hair ornaments made with fabric buttons sporting quirky designs. The aqua and olive color scheme brings a touch of sophistication to these chic chevron earrings; $7. buttonbizarro.etsy. com
Mobile Candy Let your fierce flag fly with this trendy and ultra-cool electronic purple iPhone 4S case with gold spikes. Hand fashioned by recent Syracuse University graduate Danielle Haygood for SYR BAZAAR, this impactabsorbent accessory also comes in onyx with gold or silver hardware or black pyramid studs; $50. syrbazaar.com
Library Stamp If you can’t remember which books are yours and which are the library’s, don’t worry — elephants never forget. Tara Hogan of INK+WIT, a Syracuse University alumna based in Fayetteville, crafted this adorable 2.5-by-3.5-inch book stamp out of natural rubber and maple. You’ll never misplace your favorites again; $20. inkandwit.com
Take the time to express a little hometown pride with graphic neighborhood prints from [Re]think Syracuse. Whether it is Tipperary Hill or Downtown Syracuse, each print is designed with a creative spin on the city you’ve come to know and love; $5 to $35 depending on size. rethinksyracuse.com
Sunshyne Silverwear transforms your everyday utensils into everyday accessories. From necklaces and earrings to rings, pendants and bangles like the silver-plated handle bracelet shown here, artist Erin Gursslin creates eye-catching and ecofriendly wearable art using her grandmother’s heirloom tableware and other recycled flatware misfits; $35. sunshynesilverwear. com
T O D AY S C N Y W O M A N .C O M
Start a conversation converssation with these quirky local pieces.
Punch up your go-to look with a one-ofa-kind accessory from metalsmith Robbi Farschman of lostgirl Metalworks. Farschman has a natural knack for sawing and soldering metal (by hand) into quirky wearable works of art like this Queen Bee necklace, which features a copper collar etched with bees, cascading sterling silver chain and toggle closure; $345. lostgirlmetalworks.com