We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Mac Lennan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, how does your business help the community?
The Chandler Center for the Arts embodies the belief that the arts hold transformative potential. The Center elevates the social culture of our community, empowering people to bridge borders through participation, exploration and leadership development of the arts. Widely renowned for excellence in collaborative programming, the Center presents innovative, relevant and diverse artists and cultural experiences that both reflect and expand the community’s interests.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Life at home when I was young had challenges, as a free lunch program, latch key kid of a single mother I was often left to create my own fantasy of how life could be. Desiring to live somewhere other than where I was, or to be someone else. My passion for the arts started in elementary school, through acting I could create and explore those fantasies. In fourth grade I auditioned for the lead in our school play. Needless to say I did not get the part but instead had one line that referred to being a fat and happy elf. It was a hard lesson that in life we often have to fit into roles and situations that we do not want to, but how we, regardless of our place in life, shine and give of ourselves fully to it is everything. That love for theatre taught me how to be tenacious and never give up about the things I care about. Being cast as the funny side kick or character actress followed me throughout my acting career and I worked professionally until it was time to start a family. After staying home for a few years I shifted my interests to technical theatre (scenic and lighting design). From there I became a stage manager, technical director, box office manager, volunteer coordinator and program and operations manager. I believe the leader I’m now comes from the breadth of experiences I’ve had in nearly every aspect of venue management. It is far easier to lead when you have walked the walk.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Living in Arizona provides for some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the country. When I have visitors it is always a mix of the beauty of the desert, the red rocks of Sedona, the vibes of Flagstaff and the cool pines surrounding the Mogollon Rim. The US route 40 from Flagstaff to Payson is one of my favorite drives. After spending a half week with nature I would then embark on a Museum tour provide a glimpse in our indigenous cultures, musical instruments, places and communities, and modern works. Finally we would attend a music festival, concert or comedy club as the options for entertainment are abundant.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The staff and volunteers of the Chandler Center for the Arts are what truly make us the central gathering place for the community. They are welcoming, always seek to provide impeccable customer service and care deeply about impacting their community. Their passion and commitment to creating safe spaces and experiences for artists to share their contribution with the world is why I feel fortunate to go to work each day.
Tim Sealy Miachelle DePiano Edmundo