Sara Mitchell and her husband, James, are working with others to encourage cultural activities and collaboration in Roswell. (Jill McLaughlin Photo)
Sara Mitchell is confident she can be instrumental in making an impact on Roswell by helping the art community join together.
As a co-executive director of the newly created Young Professionals for the Arts Collective, Mitchell has already seen the group grow to some 40 members in just a few weeks.
“It’s just in the very beginning stages, but I think it’s going to be pretty amazing,” Mitchell said.
The collective’s other co-executive director is Carolyn Madison.
The new collective brings together artists or individuals interested in the arts, ages 21-45, who are community-minded young professionals. The artists participate in the performing, visual, literary or culinary arts.
YPAC’s mission is to increase awareness of cultural events, and encourage networking and collaboration. Members support local artists and art education through volunteer work and fundraising.
YPAC also welcomes other members who want to join as mentors and are looking for sponsors. The group has been adding new members daily, Mitchell said. Their first official quarterly meeting is scheduled for Jan. 26.
“From the beginning, it was pretty exciting,” Mitchell said. “We didn’t know who would bite. We’ve just had amazing feedback.
“Everybody we knew … wanted to join immediately. It was really awesome. That’s when we knew we were onto something big.”
Mitchell, who grew up in a small town near Fort Worth, Texas, moved to Roswell three years ago when her husband, James “Mitch” Mitchell, took a job as an estate-planning lawyer with Sanders, Bruin, Coll & Worley. The two moved from Dallas and plan to stay for a while, she said.
“He got a great job at a wonderful firm. It was a perfect fit for him,” Mitchell said. “It sounded like an adventure.”
She began tutoring high school math students at the New Mexico Military Institute part time and writing children’s picture books and young adult fiction.
In a few weeks, Mitchell will finish a master’s degree in children’s literature from Pennsylvania State University, she said.
The books she writes are about situations children might find difficult.
“I have two things in progress,” Mitchell said. “One is a young adult novel. It’s a coming-of-age story about a young rock star based in Santa Fe. I have a picture book I’m trying to wrap up about a little girl who is anxious about everything. I’m writing for kids who don’t normally see themselves in books, like girls who are angry and kids who maybe worry too much.”
Mitchell also writes poetry and has published articles online.
When she and her husband lived in Dallas, they were involved in the arts community.
“We lived in a part of a community where there was always a film night, they would host poetry readings or there was some art opening,” she said. “I realized this summer, if we’re going to live here, we have to have something like that here. I should do it. I should be responsible for making that happen.”
Mitchell likes to attend the symphony and art openings or invest in art, she said. She also teaches yoga to children at Kana Clothes. She also likes to lift weights and run, and enjoys cooking healthy, Southern-inspired food.
Mitchell is a graduate of Leadership Roswell’s 2012 class, and a member of St. Peter’s Church.
Her husband, a vocalist who studied music business as an undergraduate, is a co-founder of YPAC.
“I’m glad we’re here and we’re gong to be here a while,” she said.
To find out more about YPAC, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write Carolyn Madison at email@example.com.