February 15th, 2014
After the school choir program in Dallas was cut this year, Western Oregon University student Slade Thackeray has volunteered to conduct a choir club. His sister, Malena, volunteers by playing the piano, and the pair puts in dozens of unpaid hours per week to help Dallas High School students. Photographed Wednesday, March 14, 2012. / THOMAS PATTERSON | Statesman Journal
What I do at work: I am the artistic director/co-creator of the Young Artists Playtrium (YAP). I direct affairs for the YAP season. This includes directing choirs, overseeing music, theater and confidence-building curriculum. Also implementing and advertising workshops and our summer festival.
What I do with my time: I write, teach and listen. So much of what I do at YAP is working to get the word out. Our program is focused on teaching confidence through performance art to the young and young at heart. So I spend my time creating workshops (with my awesome staff), developing and teaching our curriculum and listening to our students and participants about what would help them and YAP be better.
Why I work and live in the Mid-Valley: A friend once told me this is my “red earth,” like the red earth of Tara from “Gone with the Wind.” I feel grounded here. The magic of the landscape and energy of the people inspire me.
What’s my favorite Salem secret: Though I’m from Dallas, I would say my favorite Salem secret would be the Vitae Springs Road S that turns into Orville Road S that turns into River Road S. That drive is really beautiful and though it takes longer, it is a nice way to get to Salem.
Mid-Valley leader I’d love to have lunch with: If we’re wishing here, I’d say Gov. Kitzhaber. I would love to talk to him about what YAP is doing and how arts can change our lives.
What’s something people wouldn’t guess about me: Probably that I was raised on a dairy.
What was I like at 12 years old: A lot like I am now. I was/am a dreamer and a big believer in doing hard things. No matter what I was facing, I believed I could overcome it.
Dog, cat or other: Dog — there aren’t many other animals but dogs.
My smartphone: iPhone.
Favorite social media platform: Facebook. There is so much you can do and so many people to reach.
Salem Area Young Professionals is focused on showcasing Salem as a choice destination for young professionals while establishing Salem’s next generation of business and community leaders. Information: www.salemyoungpros.com.