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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

November 17, 2019   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Q&A: Ithaca College staff member promotes community engagement

After 18 years, Mickie Quinn ’94 moved back to Ithaca in 2014. Then, in August 2018, she began her current position at Ithaca College as Park Promotions director.

In March 1998, Quinn moved to Brooklyn, New York, where she lived until returning to Ithaca. She initially moved to New York to work as a graphic designer for Sidewalk.com. She had several other jobs during her time in the city, like as a graphic artist and Flash animator at Snowball.com. She also did independent projects illustrating children’s books, developing branding and graphics for a children’s series and more.

Now, in addition to running Park Promotions at the college, Quinn helps organize events in the local community, including POP’d at The Cherry, Ithaca Festival, Cosmic Joke Collective and more.

Proofreader Emily Lussier spoke with Quinn about her work on and off campus and the importance of community engagement.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Emily Lussier: Can you explain what Park Promotions is?
Mickie Quinn: Park Promotions is a cocurricular whose mission is to promote everything that happens within the [Roy H. Park School of Communications] — to promote the events that we do here; to promote the great things that our students, staff, faculty and alumni are doing; and to share our community … with the entire campus and with our community of alumni.

EL: What are some of your main responsibilities as the director?
MQ: It’s my responsibility to create the graphic designs that you see around campus, … social media, promoting things on Instagram, doing Park news, getting posts out on Intercom for upcoming events. … All of those things are on my personal plate, but I am sharing them with the students who are part of Park Promotions as a way to teach them how to do graphic design, to create campaigns for both social media and print.

EL: What was your experience as a student at Ithaca College like?
MQ: Well, Ithaca College is just great, and … I think because I’m a curious and interested person, it was great to come to a college where there were so many opportunities for me … to learn about things that I had never been exposed to before. Even though I was an art major, I spent time in Park. … [The college] gave me a place to explore all my interests and get involved with them. … Obviously, we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and the town itself is so interesting, and that’s what brought me back here.

EL: What are some of the events in the Ithaca community that you help organize?
MQ: I organize POP’d at The Cherry, which is a consent-based pop-up nightclub experience, … and the whole night is designed to give people a place to come to the dance floor and celebrate who they are … and know that they’re in a safe community. … I also run Trampoline, which is a monthly competitive storytelling event. … I also curate and host an event called the Cosmic Joke Collective, which is an artist salon. … I give musicians a place to present works in progress or to collaborate with one another for a one-time-only night, and that way the audience gets more of a sense of the artistic process. … I’m the emcee for the local burlesque troupe, Whiskey Tango Sideshow, and we have regular performances. … I’m also the president of the Ithaca Festival board and am very involved in keeping the festival alive and going.

EL: What are some of the reasons that you think community engagement is important?
MQ: I think because no matter what you do, no matter where you live, no matter where you work, you’re a part of a community, and why so much of the work I do outside of campus is rooted in collaboration is because I think we become our best selves when we’re working with other people. … I think it’s important for any human being to step outside whatever their little bubble is and find more bubbles and then create a bigger bubble as a result of that. And I think by doing that, we make stronger communities, make stronger individuals and hopefully someday we’ll make a better world.

EL: Is there anything else about your work either at IC or in the greater community that you want to mention?
MQ: What I love about working at Ithaca College, in doing Park Promotions, I’m really encouraged to bring my life outside of campus onto campus and to bring students into my world. I’ve had students come help me be stage managers for some of my productions in the past. … Again, I like popping the little bubbles and getting people to expand their worlds and sharing what I can with as many people as possible.

Emily Lussier can be reached at elussier@ithaca.edu or via Twitter: @elussier17