Amanda Lewis is a Senior Program Director for Watch Me Grow Ohio and currently serves as the Vice President for both the Fourteenth Street Community Center and HOMELife Portsmouth, a dynamic new organization set on ending the stigma of homelessness in Scioto County, Ohio. Amanda earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art from Shawnee State University and continues to promote the arts through youth education programs, local happenings, and creative writing initiatives. Upcoming projects include human services events, youth photography exhibits, and public works of art focused on neighborhood revitalization efforts. Amanda resides in Ashland, Kentucky.
Q & A
What makes more livable futures for you?
Inclusion, diversity, and compassion. Those three things are absolutely vital in achieving a livable future, not just for myself but for all of us. Inclusion cultivates growth and encouragement while diversity promotes unconventional thinking and innovation. The most important one, I think, is compassion. It keeps us grounded, reminds us that we have humanity in common, and allows us to have empathy for others: human beings, animals, our planet. That, in turn, makes for a happier, healthier future, which is all we really ever want for ourselves.
What are you reading, viewing, listening to right now?
I'm all over the board when it comes to things I'm interested in. Right now, I have Nat Geo's Secrets of the National Parks on my desk, a copy of The Working Poet in my bag, and I'm listening to Astonishing Legend's podcast about The Betz Sphere. If you haven't heard of it, listen to the podcast by Scott Philbrook and Forrest Burgess. It's super interesting.
What practices are sustaining you?
Creative pursuits sustain me. It's how I focus without going into emotional overdrive and burnout before I've accomplished anything. When I have an idea for a project, I start exploring all kinds of creative interests to psych myself up about it: poetry, non-fiction, artwork, music, podcasts, nature...anything that can nurture some of the ideas in my mind and help push them forward into an actual plan. Part of that planning process is surrounding myself with like-minded people who aren't afraid to speak up. Collaboration is key, you know?