“Living in Philly” interview series where realtor Cherise Wynne (“Agent Lady”) highlights interesting people & organizations in the civic, real estate, restaurant and lifestyle space that help first time home buyers navigate our great city of Philadelphia.
Meet Naomi, Coordinator of Community Programs
Agent Lady: In regards to The Art Museum, when people ask that famous question “what do you do”, how do you typically answer?
Naomi: I’m the Coordinator of Community Programs at the Philadelphia Museum or Art. So, I basically make sure that the museum is continuously building and maintaining relationships with various communities around the region.
Agent Lady: What does The Art Museum do, what neighborhood(s) does it provide products/services in, and what do you find special about those Philly areas?
Naomi: We provide services all around the region through various programs and initiatives, but my work is focused in three neighborhoods, Brewerytown, Mantua, and Fairmount. We wanted to really focus our community engagement efforts on those neighborhoods closest to us, the ones that can see us from there houses, but for whatever reason, feel barriers to access. That could be transportation, cost, or just a feeling of not being welcome. When we began to think about our goals and objectives for the next 3-5 years, we asked ourselves “what does it look like to be a good neighbor in these neighborhoods?” We treat each neighborhood differently, so that we can respond to the individual needs of a community instead of pushing our own agenda. For Mantua, it meant working with the Mantua Civic Association and Mural Arts Program to create a mural on the Spring Garden Bridge. In Brewerytown it meant working with the Athletic Recreation Center and providing a series of workshops based on African American artists. For Fairmount it means supporting the Fairmount Arts Crawl.
All three of these neighborhoods hold a special place in my heart. However, Brewerytown is where I first moved when I moved to Philadelphia from Michigan in 2006. It’s my home, I see so much flavor in the neighborhood. I’ve gotten to know my neighbors and the opportunities and challenges the neighborhood has faced and is currently facing.
Agent Lady: How do you believe the Art Museum is making Philadelphia better?
Naomi: Not only are we preserving these beautiful works of art and making sure that they last and can be enjoyed by generations to come, we’re working to engage and educate people around the art. We want to make art accessible and tangible (even though you can’t touch the art!), we want to make sure that people feel comfortable with the art and comfortable with using the Philadelphia Museum of Art as a resource of learning and engagement.
Agent Lady: If you had to choose between a Philly cheesesteak or a Philly pretzel, what would you choose?
Naomi: Cheese steak, hands down.
Agent Lady: What’s the biggest misconception people have about your industry or type of organization?
Naomi: That you need to be an artist to work in a art museum. I have absolutely no experience with art, but I do have expertise in community engagement and development, it’s my passion and my art.
Agent Lady: What is the nerdiest thing you do in your spare time?
Naomi: Watch Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. I’ve seen all of them more times than I’d admit to.
Agent Lady: What is your favorite word?
Agent Lady: If you had to pick another career what would it be?
Naomi: Journalist at a famous music magazine.
Agent Lady: For anyone looking to buy their first home in Philly or move to the Philly area, what do you have to say to them?
Naomi: Join us! But, do your research, Philadelphia is full of neighborhoods with their own attitudes and culture, so you have to figure out which community is best for your lifestyle.
Agent Lady: If someone wanted to learn more about you or The Art Museum, where could they go?
Website for the museum: http://www.philamuseum.org/
Special shout out to Naomi for taking the time out of her busy schedule helping the community, to come share and have fun with us in our interview series. We’re really appreciative to have you reside and add value to our city, so thank you for the hard work of keeping art included in the fabric of our communities.
If you’re reading this and it inspired you, please share with your network, and show Naomi some love on social media. Until next time, stay awesome people!
About Agent Lady: Cherise Wynne is a leading real estate agent in Philadelphia, helping home buyers and sellers navigate the City of Brotherly Love, with a special focus on first time home buyers. To chat about getting started with your first time home buying experience, call 215-518-5193 or click here.