Tuesday, August 29, 2017

I Hold the Earth Near and Dear. It Connects Everyone and It’s a Beautiful Place.

By Bella Portaro-Kueber


Meeting Allison Whitehouse and trying to describe her talents, passions, and life can only express a fraction of the impact her ways of thinking can make.




Allison is a 20-something creative who lives in the city of Louisville and holds aspirations of creating a lasting impact as program and development coordinator for the Waterfront Botanical Gardens. After her whirlwind education at the Columbus College of Art and Design, graduating from the University of Louisville with her bachelor’s degree in French and Humanities and a master’s degree in French, and two-and-a-half years as a professor at UofL, Bellarmine University, and as a KIIS professor in Paris, France, it’s easy to wonder how she did it all.
Allison is always eager to indulge her creative pursuits and enjoys archery.  Photos: Sunni Wigginton 

“I’ve always had a creative drive, and I can’t help myself — I truly get into everything!” Allison says. “It’s been cultivated around me ever since I was a little girl. My mom is a clever wordsmith and passed the gift on to me. I can speak English, French, Russian, and Spanish.”

She says she also likes to “act, write, paint, draw, and sing.” But, she says, “Art isn’t a demand for me to make an income on. Art is a release. A creative job feels burdensome, but when it’s in this space of my private life I feel better about it. I am going to learn how to play the violin next.”

Allison's fascination with arts has been a motivating force in every part of her life.

She acknowledges that her family environment promoted creativity. When she was a little girl, her grandmother would sew books together and would leave all of the pages blank so she could fill them. When asked what the books were about, she says, “There were so many, but the two that we still have are “Applesauce” and “The Great Sea Monster.”

What advice would she give to her younger self? “Pay more attention to the things you write off about yourself. Get over using that dirty word of ‘enough,’ because you are enough, and stop talking yourself out of the things you’re unsure you can do, know you can do them, and follow the possibilities instead.”

Her creativity brought her to where she is today as she transitioned to the nonprofit sector to fuel other passions. Her position at Waterfront Botanical Gardens allows her to wear an assortment of hats managing communications, social media marketing, volunteer coordinating, and corporate outreach.

“I hold the earth near and dear. It connects everyone and it’s a beautiful place. We share it with one another so we have to take care of it. The botanical gardens is an up and coming project that gives me a lot of satisfaction. I can’t wait to see the this project come to fruition.”

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