While Houston is an amazing, emerging, southern city- I sometimes find my mind drifting and asking about the "what ifs" as it relates to packing it up and moving to another major market. But then I run into someone who reminds me of New York because of their unique style, LA because of their contagious energy and Paris because of their international perspectives. Nyala Wright is the Associate Director of Fundraising at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and reminds me that Houston is just getting started and there is much, so much to appreciate about this southern gem. Get to know her...
Q. Describe your personal style and personal brand:
A. My personal brand reflects fearlessness when it comes to putting things together. Down home and urban, I am definitely a southern girl with a Brooklyn sensibility. My parents grew up in Detroit and witnessed the black power movement, but my brother and I grew-up in the ultra-conservative Houston of the 80's. I spent most of my twenties living in Brooklyn, so I'm gumbo when in comes to thought and action. The more ingredients you put in, the more flavor you get out.
Q. What do you love most about Houston?
A. Houston is fertile ground. Certainly more than any major city in the country, Houston is resilient and only at the beginning of its maturation as a world-class leader in arts, culture, and commerce. There is so much work to be done to get there, and it's just job security for those of us invested in the city's future. It's thrilling to be in Houston right now, because it really is a world stage for the unforeseen and unforeheard. There is nothing more exciting to me than the prospect of doing what's never been done, and Houston represents that to me.
Q. In a few words, why do you feel that it's important for the non-profit sector to embrace social media?
A. Although technology changes, our souls never do. We all want to be connected to each other and feel like unique individuals within a unified group and social media is the current platform at our disposal. It is essential that the non-profit sector embrace social media because it provides an inexpensive way to communicate with the masses. An organization's ability to communicate its unique mission in an exciting, attractive and memorable way determines its ability to grow, thrive, and succeed.
Q. How do you achieve work, life, balance?
A. Eat, love, pray. Not necessarily in that order. Seriously, it's a daily struggle.
Q. What's on your radar? What's next?
A. As Associate Director of Fundraising for www.crafthouston.org, I am working on a year's worth of events celebrating the center's 10th anniversary season. It will culminate with the already infamous Martini Madness cocktail fundraiser on September 22, 2011. In my 'spare' time, I am also hosting a fundraiser with Joy Sewing for workshophouston.org on April 2, 2011 that will feature the creative talents of the children involved in their after-school programs and professional Houston artists like The Kracker Nuttz and Charles Criner. And I am really happy to be working with David Anderson and Donnie Scantz to bring Houston's own Robert Glasper Experiment to Bambou in Rice Village on March 17, 2011. It's going to be a spectacular concert. Busy calendar. Full heart. Happy life. Next, is figuring out the right opportunity to collaborate with Medley.
Of course, I'm beyond excited about the possibility of collaborating with Ms. Wright. In the short time I've known her, she's been willing to share knowledge and wisdom, and has "schooled" me on all sorts of cool brain candy:). To keep up with Nyala on the social circuit follow her on Twitter at @BossyWoman.