Catalyst Interview Series: Dorsey Spencer

Knight Creative Communities Institute (KCCI): How did you first hear about KCCI?

Dorsey Spencer (DS): My former supervisor was a part of the previous cohort. I was able to see some of his involvement, and he always spoke highly of the opportunity. He encouraged me to apply.

KCCI: Can you tell us a little bit about the Reimagining Waterworks project?

DS: The Reimagining Waterworks project was an opportunity for people from the community from various backgrounds to come together, preserve, and repurpose a building and site that are a piece of Tallahassee history. Our group conducted research and proposed several options for the use of the building to the city, which owns the property. We also led the charge in identifying and securing funds from the state for the project.

KCCI: What was the most valuable lesson you took away from working on the project?

DS: The importance of partnerships, team work and coalition building, especially when it comes to community development/ improvement.

KCCI: What was the biggest win of your project?

DS: When the city of Tallahassee signed on to work with us to apply for the state grants which would provide $750,000 for the project. It really showed that the city leaders believed in what we were trying to accomplish.

KCCI: How has your experience with KCCI affected your life since?

DS: The experience has enhanced my connection to and pride in the city of Tallahassee. It has enlightened me on how to approach different challenges I may be facing. I have also had the opportunity to build relationships with people that I may not have ever met otherwise.

KCCI: What is your favorite part about living in Tallahassee?

DS: I love the fusion of state capitol, urban/ suburban, and college town environments. There is always something going on here. I also really appreciate the diversity of the city.

KCCI: Who should apply to be a KCCI Community Catalyst?

DS: Anyone who wants to improve their community while offering their expertise and skills but willing to also collaborate with others and learn during the process.