Name: Cherie Hill
Title: Communications Manager
Previously: Dance Teaching Artist & Director of Community and Culture, Luna Dance Institute
Guiding Quote: “I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.” – Rosa Parks
Currently Reading/Listening to/Watching: Currently, I am watching Buddha, available on Netflix for a limited time. I am listening to “Love Your Life + Law of Attraction” Podcast by Jennifer Bailey, and reading Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit.
As a California native, do you have a favorite place or a key moment of California history that defines the state for you?
In the ’80s and ’90s, Venice Beach was my favorite place to visit. I encompass fond memories of riding bicycles along the boardwalk with my parents, and roller-skating with the pros I thought were the freshest artists. I learned many skating moves from watching them that I brought into my figure skating and dance training. The skaters, entertainers, and vendors at Venice Beach were unique and special. They made the area another type of world. Unfortunately, since the local skaters and artists were systematically displaced, the beach was not the same. The film Roller Dreams documents this. Nonetheless, the vibrant memories of Venice Beach live on in my heart.
As a dancer, you have had a lot of experience with the California arts community. Where do you see the intersection between the arts and the humanities?
The arts are an expression of culture and human experience. Artists share life stories through their art-making while the humanities create spaces for persons to come together to dialogue, experience, and learn from one another through various mediums. I envision the arts and humanities as perpendicular lines that cross through each other. There are similarities, yet they can branch out into different territories that reflect our incredible human diversity.
What are you hoping to bring to the communications role at California Humanities?
California Humanities offers a wealth of resources for both grant seekers and the general public. I would like for non-grant seekers to know more about what the organization provides. California Humanities’ projects and initiatives offer a wealth of historical and community information. The grantees hold fantastic events. I hope to help more people become aware of these treasures.
What have you been up to in your first month on staff, and what has it been like starting a new job during shelter-in-place orders?
My first month has primarily been spent on getting to know my colleagues, the organization, communications, and essential systems. Beginning this job during shelter-in-place feels surreal like almost everything else. Sometimes I feel like I am in the twilight zone, but most of the time, my mind accepts that it is what it is. I think there is a slower pace to developing my staff relationships remotely than building relationships in person, but everyone is incredibly supportive and patient, which makes this transition easier.
Tell us one thing that you would like people who don’t already know you to know about you:
I am a life partner of 22 years and a mother of two sons, ages 20 and 14. I am an initiate of Sant Mat Meditation, and I meditate daily.