What We Do for Love
February 13, 2015 | Beth Singer, Principal
By day we’re a group of professional communicators who use our strategic and creative minds to ignite our clients’ marketing efforts. Like everyone else, we do what we do to make a living and we’re fortunate enough to enjoy it. But when we’re off the clock, we all have unique ways to recharge and engage our own passions. Here’s how we connect the dots between work, design, art and love:
Design Thinking for Kids
Beth’s mother was a first grade teacher—the kind of teacher who had a waiting list to get in to her class. Mrs. Singer had an appetite for awakening young minds and she passed it on to Beth. When she isn't working on a client’s strategic messaging plan, Beth and her husband—business partner Howard Smith—develop “design thinking” curriculum for kids and deliver it into Arlington Public Schools and at their synagogue. They teach kids how to understand a problem and use a systematic and creative process to bring the problem to resolution… and then evaluate their outcomes—all necessary 21st century skills. “I can't say enough about how positive these projects are for the kids and how much they get out of them,” remarked a teacher from Temple Rodef Shalom.
Last year, Beth and Howard delivered lessons on packaging, heraldry and logos, and symmetry through an ancient Indian art form for grades 1-5. “Imparting these skills to our young people will help them become better communicators, foster their imaginations and self confidence, and cultivate a taste for innovation,” says Beth, with a big grin. See more of their work here.
A life-long foodie and lover of fresh, seasonal produce, Lisa DiConsiglio, our VP of Operations, helped launch Arlington’s Westover Farmers Market in 2012 with a group of like-minded civic leaders in her neighborhood. As a founding board member, she brought to the party years of marketing expertise and still works to bring awareness—and customers—to the now-thriving, year-round farmers market. She advises vendors on signage, promotes market events, and manages its presence on Twitter, Facebook and in the media. She has enlisted other talented members of the community such a photographers, web developers and social media mavens to help spread the love.
“It's a great joy to turn my energy and strengths toward my passion for farmers markets and my belief in their value to our communities.” Lisa’s main focus is to spotlight their mission to bring fresh, locally grown produce and value-added goods from family farms and enterprises, to build a healthy community, and to contribute to the prosperity of our regional economy.
Dreaming in Color
Twenty years of experimenting with color and composition through watercolors has allowed Howard Smith to realize a life-long dream last year—a one-man show of his paintings. Why does he love to paint?
For Howard, painting is a journey. “The #8 sable brush absorbs paint from my palette,” he says. “My hand moves over the watercolor sheet and the brush touches down, as I make my first mark. I am poised to make a second, but wait…that first mark changes everything. Should the next mark go above or below the first? What if I connect the two? What happens with the third? Tentative steps lead to more confidence. I take chances. Things get better, worse, and better again. I’m not sure where it’s leading but I know it’s worth the risk. For it is better to have painted and lost, than never to have painted at all.”
Because we love our clients, colleagues and friends, we’ve created a set of six note cards from Howard’s stunning watercolors. If you haven’t received a set and would like to, give us a call at 703.469.1900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to send you a set.