My position as manager of Railroad Square Art park has come to an end. This week the park owners, Lily and Adam Boynton Kaye, put on such a beautiful goodbye party. It was a love fest and I felt so honored and appreciated. When I moved to Tallahassee 24 years ago I was stunned that a collage town had no cute downtown arty areas like Athens or Berkeley. Fifteen years ago I began a wild ride of managing the art park with over 80 spaces to rent. Along with the normal duties of collecting rent and daily bookkeeping there was a opportunity to grow a vital community of artists and store owners. I gathered a group of people to help pick out vibrant colors to paint the park. Over time a place that use to be considered “the other side of the tracks” became the coolest destination in town with a First Friday Gallery Hop hosting over 5,000 patrons. Poised between two universities the growth of Railroad Square is guaranteed to continue.
Little did I know my background in mental health would come in so handy…something I didn’t realize when I accepted the position as property manager. I became a keeper of peoples dreams, a facilitator of clear communication, a liaison with the city, a strong leader with soft shoulder during tragedy and a good friend to all. What I became to the park was not in my job requirement… it was just who I was…and am. And what I became grew out of a deep love and passion for the arts and for people and an impassioned belief that creativity is the fuel that ignites a happy life…mine as well as all the tenants of Railroad Square.
My biggest take away is the relationships that I savor…the deep mutual respect and heartfelt connections I have always felt from and towards the owners of the park and team of beautiful people I worked with and also for the relationships I have developed with so many tenants who will remain life long friends.