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Meet the Staff: Shop Talk with Hannah Brokenshire

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by Molly Rutledge 

Hannah Brokenshire, the newest member of the Ohio Arts Council, is our go-to communicator, an afternoon coffee drinker, and a purveyor of bicycle-themed prints (more on that later). Hannah joined us a month ago, following her time as a Marketing and Communications Coordinator at the Ohio State University’s Office of Distance Education and eLearning, and she’s already making waves.

A big job with big expectations, she’s not afraid to shake up routines to get things done—and done well. Previously known as the “Public Information Officer,” Hannah’s role has been re-imagined as the “Communications Strategist,” and with that comes the flexibility to align more closely with the OAC’s Strategic Plan.

A graduate of the Ohio State University with a degree in journalism and minors in French and international studies, Hannah has a passion for collaboration and a keen sense for design—let’s learn all about the OAC’s newest servicewoman to the arts in Ohio: 

Q: You’ve been at the OAC as “Communications Strategist” for about a month now. Any first experiences, memories, or funny stories you’d like to share? 

I've joined the OAC at an interesting time. It's currently the 50th anniversary and exciting branding conversations are in the works. The collective energy surrounding moving forward to the next 50 years of public funding is undeniably positive and I'm thankful to be a part of it.
During my first two weeks I jumped in to send out the ArtsOhio May newsletter to constituents. Deadlines are my friend, so it was a fun way to get the ball rolling. As far as funny stories go, I think participating in an office plank challenge is a great way to discover the combined strength of the team (disclaimer: I may be at the bottom of the list as far as times go).

Q:
What’s your favorite thing so far about what you do?

The opportunity to share stories from each corner of the state. Amazing things are happening in the arts in Ohio and I'm excited to give them the spotlight they deserve.


Q:
You’ve lived quite a few places (all over the world, really)—where was your favorite place to live and why have you made Columbus, Ohio, your home?

My family is Canadian and our annual visits to Newfoundland remained the constant as we moved from North Carolina to England, and then New York to Cincinnati. My mom is a dancer and my dad appreciates the arts like no other, I didn't realize it until I was older but no matter where we lived, they made sure the arts were a top choice in activities. 

I adopted Columbus as my hometown after growing to be a part of the community here. I think it's important to understand the voice of your community and feel empowered to share your own, that's what Columbus gave me.

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Q: So you have a strong appreciation for art. Your computer desktop and phone background are both Cy Twombly pieces for starters. How else do you integrate the arts into your life?

  Following an internship with Wild Goose Creative in Columbus, I stayed involved with Pinchflat. It's a bicycle-themed poster show that brings both the arts and cycling communities together with the public in a fun setting, while also supporting local artists and providing affordable one-of-a-kind pieces.
I always keep an eye out for events that highlight the arts in different neighborhoods and try to find a way to spread the news (and fill up my calendar).


Q:
Any advice for other aspiring young professionals interested in working the arts/non-profits?

Volunteer. I know it may not always seem like it, but you have free time. I promise you do. Spend that time advancing the messages of organizations you care about and you'll find where you need to be.
 

Q: When you’re not at the OAC planning communications, scouring social media, fostering the arts, etc. what do you do? 

I try to travel as much as my schedule allows. Weekend road trips have replaced hops across the pond but I have no complaints. Live music and good food is a surefire way to happiness in my book.
 

Pick one

Phone call or text? Can I choose outside the box? In-person conversation. 
Coffee or tea? Coffee, always. 
Warm or cool? Cool if we're talking weather, warm if we're talking pie.
Cat or dog? Dog, hands down.
Visual or performing arts? Hard to choose but I would go with visual arts.
Netflix or movie theatre? Theatre for the experience, Netflix for the convenience.



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