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Check Out Liz Martin’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Liz Martin. 

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I learned about 934 Gallery in 2015 when they applied to be a part of a project I was working on. While they weren’t selected, their mission and vision resonated with me, and I went to check it out. I had such a memorable experience, going to an art gallery randomly in Milo-Grogan and feeling welcome and encouraged to experience art. It felt accessible and fun. Not something art galleries typically are. I offered to help out if they needed anything, and they would ask me for some help here and there with errands and prepping the space for openings. I coordinated volunteers for the annual 934 Fest in its second year and then got more involved in the day-to-day operations from there. I have a background in nonprofit development and volunteer management, so it was a natural fit. I enjoyed the fact that it’s a very neighborhood-focused DIY space, who still takes art seriously while remaining welcoming to everyone, and creating unique experiences. It’s a delicate balance. Being an all-volunteer organization means everyone involved truly cares about the mission and is dedicated to making it happen month after month. I helped form our first-ever board in 2020 and filed for 501c3 nonprofit status for 934 INC, which we received on December 19, 2020. I’ve been board president since January 2021. We’ve grown a ton since then, but I still keep the team rooted in our mission, and since we are all volunteers, it’s hard not to keep things a little DIY. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being a part of 934 Gallery has been a labor of love. Working with a volunteer team comes with its challenges. Sometimes life gets in the way, and your volunteer work becomes the first thing to push off your plate. We work together to plug holes, but it isn’t always fun. I try not to come to the table with problems but show up with solutions. 

When you see people enjoying the space for the first time, finding a new favorite artist, or bringing their kids to play among the murals in our outdoor gallery, or meet an artist showing their work for the first time in a gallery space, or see someone randomly find 934 Fest and have an experience they can’t stop talking about. It’s makes it all worth it. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am the Business Development and Relations Manager for the Performance Columbus Family of Dealerships, and I love my job! Performance puts culture first and encourages all associates to give back to the community. My job allows me to be able to be giving of my time, and my work allows me to be active in my community in many ways; I am a natural connector and event planner, and creating connections and community events is part of my day-to-day, along with workforce development, and more. My work is different every day, and I get to work with all kind of businesses, industries, and organizations. It’s fulfilling to know I can make a difference in people’s lives through my work. Volunteering outside of work is valued. My superpower is definitely making connections. 

I enjoy giving my time and expertise outside of work to leading 934 Gallery. I also serve on the boards of the Avalon Theatre in Marysville and IMPACT60. I help with development, volunteers, and events with all three organizations. 

People often ask if I ever sleep. The answer is yes. 

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I wouldn’t call myself a big risk taker, but I do like to say yes. Saying yes means thinking on your feet, figuring things out for the first time, trying something new or outside of the box, not being sure how something’s going to work, but just going for it. Saying yes has gotten me to where I am today and every time you say yes, you accept the risk that comes with it. Saying yes has led to many, many, many amazing experiences and unforgettable friendships, but also some eye-opening outcomes. 

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Image Credits

Emma Brown
Toy Haus Studio

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