A few weeks ago, I explained that I was going to be pulling back a bit on my arts writing and this column would be running biweekly instead of weekly. After much thought and consideration, I've decided it would be best for me if I put my arts writing on hold indefinitely. So I'm sad to say this column will be my last.

To be clear, this decision was mine alone and was made entirely for personal reasons. My editors and colleagues at this paper have been incredibly supportive and I feel privileged to have been afforded this platform to cover the incredible arts community in Savannah.

I intend to maintain a good relationship with the paper and I've been told there's an open door for me to pitch stories in the future, so this likely won't be the last article I write for the Savannah Morning News. It’ll just be the last SavArtScene column I write. I will be keeping my Twitter and email account active as I will continue to be involved in the local arts scene, just in a more hands-on way and not as a journalist.

When I first moved to Savannah, a little over six years ago, I began contributing to this paper almost immediately in Thursday's Do Savannah magazine. I was eventually offered this Sunday column almost three years ago and over those years I've seen how Savannah has grown as a creative destination and have developed many cherished relationships within the arts community. As I mentioned in my earlier column, there comes a time when change is necessary and that time for me is now.

I am currently working with the Department of Cultural Resources to help develop some exciting programming for the new Cultural Arts Center which will be announced in time. I will also be continuing my roles as a member of the Cultural Affairs Commission and as vice-chair of the Historic Site & Monument Commission and hope to provide some synergy with various community development efforts going forward. I also have a number of arts-related personal projects I'm going to be working on, including a potential mural project and other community related events.

I want to sincerely thank all the readers and supporters of this column. I've encountered many wonderful people of like mind who have supported this column and my writing in various ways and I cannot express how much that means to me. I also want to thank my editors and colleagues at this paper. Over my professional career, I've written for many different local, national, and international publications and my experience writing for this paper has definitely been high on the list.

The Savannah art scene continues on an upward trajectory, but there's still a lot to be done to make Savannah a true arts destination. A number of new galleries and artist studios have been coming online, but the creative economy still isn't at a sustainable level despite what some national magazines and online publications say. It's one thing to crunch cherry-picked numbers to make a best-of list, but it's quite another to actually struggle to live and work in a place.

As one of those creatives who still struggles to live and work the way I'd like, I'm going to be pouring my energy into helping Savannah be a sustainable and equitable place for everyone. I'm also going to spend some time trying to finish my novel which has been sitting dormant for too long and isn't likely to finish itself. For me, the path ahead is somewhat uncertain, but what I do know is that Savannah is headed in the right direction and I'm happy to be here.

I'm a born southerner, but I spent many years living in places other than the south. I'm from Atlanta originally, but spent a number of years in Seattle and then moved to New York where I thought I'd stay.

But New York isn't the creative bohemia it once was and after a little over seven years there I found myself at a crossroads. New York is an amazing place and I had many successes there and many failures, but it wasn't feeding my soul, so I knew I had to leave. I then found myself in Savannah where I thought I'd stay for a few years, then move back up north, perhaps to Washington, D.C. I've been here now, unexpectedly, for over six years and have no intent to leave any time soon.

I may not live the rest of my natural life here, but Savannah has provided something that I haven't found elsewhere. Perhaps it's my Southern roots or perhaps it's the fact that I'm not as young and restless as I once was, but Savannah has offered a special sort of comfort and connection that's unique.

Savannah is a very special place and it should remain that way. As someone who moved here from Brooklyn, I don't want Savannah to be the next Brooklyn. I want Savannah to stay Savannah. That's what makes it magical. And that's what I'm going to help work toward, in the arts and otherwise.

Wish me luck. I'll probably need it.

 

Editor’s note: We at the Savannah Morning News will greatly miss Kris’ unique voice in Sunday’s Arts & Culture section and in Do Savannah. As is our mandate, we will continue to cover the expansive art scene in Savannah. In the future, we will have a number of new voices to fill the enormous gap left by Kris. As always, you can find all of our arts coverage at dosavannah.com and savannahnow.com. Thank you for reading.