The life she imagined - Kachelle's story
Kachelle said at first, she wasn’t sure about partnering with Danyetta - or Starfire. “In the beginning, I was just a little stiff,” she said about her early days working with Danyetta. “I’m not used to people.”
That was two years ago. Today, Kachelle is an active part of her community in Lower Price Hill. Through Danyetta's support, week after week, she can now say she is building the life she imagined - filled with connections to the art world and opportunities to create with others. And because of her new friendship with Alicia, Kachelle has a job as an "artist in residence" at the neighborhood non-profit, Community Matters.
“I don’t think Kachelle realizes how much she means to me,” Alicia said, Community Engagement Coordinator from Community Matters. “I think she has a lot of power. I love seeing her every week. She lights up any time she comes and we’re doing art together.”
“I like to help people get together,” said Kachelle. “And I like Starfire and working with Danyetta. I don’t know what I’d do without this.”
Kachelle first connected to Starfire because she expressed wanting to get out of her house more and meet people her age who lived nearby. But her experiences at that time were working in a sheltered workshop, where she said she spent all of her time in the facility.
“I told Danyetta in the beginning that I like to get my hands messy,” said Kachelle. “I didn’t want the paint brush, I like to use my whole hand on the canvas.”
“When Kachelle told me she likes art, I thought about the ‘who’ first, then the ‘what,’” said Danyetta. “I knew Alicia from another neighborhood project I was involved in and reached out. It worked out nicely because Kachelle and Alicia care about the same things, and they’ve formed a friendship.”
Kachelle, Alicia, and Danyetta came up with the idea to create a space for artists in Lower Price Hill to engage, naming it “The Collective” - a weekly artist meet-up in Price Hill.
“We recognize that the word ‘artist’ can be intimidating,” continued Alicia. “So we’ve tried to develop projects everyone can take part in. It’s an opportunity to be creative and be a leader in your community.”
To learn more about why Kachelle's work connecting in her neighborhood is so important, check out our website. www.starfirecincy.org
This story is part of our Story Series, “Time.” Subscribe and get a new story from our series in your inbox every week!