Catalyst Interview Series: Lauren Shoaf Pace
Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI): How did you get involved with KCCI?
Lauren Shoaf Pace (LSP): I heard about it through the grapevine and really liked the premise of the organization. Being a boomerang resident (grew up here, moved away for college + job, then returned) I knew helping make Tallahassee a better place to live, work and/or own a business was something I wanted to be involved with.
KCCI: What was the mission behind the Southside Sense of Place Project?
LSP: The mission of the SSOPP was to re-establish a business/resident council for the area and from there determine how best to revitalize that corridor of town, creating a sense of place and generate more foot traffic to the area.
KCCI: What did you learn while working on this project?
LSP: In working on this project I learned how much goes into projects of this magnitude, that it doesn’t happen overnight and that there’s a significant number of people involved in the movement to keep Tallahassee moving forward.
KCCI: What comes to mind now when you think of the south side of Tallahassee, particularly the South Adams Street area?
LSP: The South Monroe/South Adams area makes me think of industry and FAMU. That area has come a long way, but still has a long way to go.
KCCI:Did your work with KCCI influence your personal and professional life?
LSP: To date, KCCI has been my favorite organization to have been a part of — everything from the people I met on my team, community members, city/county leadership and the KCCI staff to the lessons I learned about how to make things happen and get your voice heard. It made me fully understand the importance of being an active and involved member of the community and that we’ve all got to help. It’s not enough to just live in a city, you’ve got to be vested.
KCCI: What are some of your favorite spots in Tallahassee?
LSP: As for some of my favorite spots in Tallahassee, I could go on and on. I love Cascades Park (and that KCCI played a part in that), it’s wonderful to have heard about something for years, see it come to fruition and then have it exceed your expectations. My family and I love being outdoors, so we enjoy exploring the more than 600 miles of trails in the area via bike, foot or kayak. I also love driving down our canopy roads and dining anyplace that has outdoor seating (even in the heat).
KCCI:Who should consider becoming a Catalyst?
LSP: I would strongly encourage any and everyone to get involved; all you need is passion, drive and a love for the community.