Catalyst Interview Series: Barby Moro
What initially got you interested in KCCI?
I heard about it through my involvement with Leadership Tallahassee. A classmate of mine said, “Hey—you’re energetic and creative, you should apply to be a KCCI Community Catalyst!”
What did you enjoy most about being a KCCI Community Catalyst?
The people. The idea of working with strangers to achieve a common goal was wonderful, not only because of relationship building but because of personal growth. You learn a lot about yourself when you’re stretched outside your comfort zone.
Can you give us a brief summary of the SPARK TLH project & Boca Chuba/Word of South?
- Spark TLH was a play off of Peter Kageyama’s notion of “love notes” for your community. People who loved Tallahassee would write notes and blog posts about places/experiences that were wonderful in the city. We created a logo and website, and we partnered with a local blogger. We created a resource that people could reference when they hear that “there’s nothing to do in Tallahassee.” The goal was to motivate students and young professions to get out and explore. This was popular for about 3-4 years and then it was retired.
- Boca Chuba Music Festival was our team’s answer to the question, “What if Tallahassee had a real music festival that drew in people the way that Hangout Fest does? What if we created a large-scale draw?” The name is based off the Bocha Chuba pond loop in Cascades Park. At the time, Cascades was in the initial phases of its big launch and we thought we could hold the festival there, playing off of its history and sense of place. Based on timing of the development of the park we ran into road blocks. Ultimately, when our project year ended, there was still no Boca Chuba festival. But some of our talent was transferred to the Word of South Festival since its goals aligned with ours, and that event did find success and come to fruition. The project was about the process—we learned a lot. I know a ton about music festivals now!
What was the biggest challenge you encountered while working on the project?
Logistics for Boca Chuba. It was too big of an idea for the time we were able to allocate. However, it was a great process, and I developed strong friendships and then was able to jump in full throttle with Word of South.
What are some of your favorite places in Tallahassee?
Appalachee Regional Park is a great one. Dogs are welcome, horses are welcome, and it has beautiful trails. And I love anything local. With small businesses, I not only want to shop there, but I want talk to the owner—how long have they been open? Why do they love what they do? Local vibes. All the local vibes, I really dig.
Midtown Reader is another favorite. You walk in and something happens. It’s this sense of “I’m home,” like a deposit of love in your heart. I also love walking up and down FAMU Way extension because of the view. I think FAMU’s campus is gorgeous and historically amazing.
Who should apply to be a KCCI Community Catalyst?
Anybody who cares about community building. If you want to be a KCCI Community Catalyst, don’t have your own agenda or ego, and don’t have impatience with others. You can’t build community without relationships—you have to be open to how people show up and you have to affirm, empower, and challenge then.