Kate Powell, Tidewater Arts Outreach – The Virginia Pilot


Job title: Executive Director

At work: I can do my dream job as Executive Director of Tidewater Arts Outreach. As a musician and fundraiser, my passion for making the arts work for older, isolated adults is at home here!

Home and family: Norfolk is my adopted city and I never want to leave it. My husband, Marc, was born and raised here, and he taught me to love this city. Our household includes a constant rotation of senior pugs that we adopt from various rescues, and we also serve as foster parents across town.

Volunteer activities: I am a board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (Hampton Roads Chapter), treasurer of the Norfolk Task Force on Aging, commissioner of the Norfolk Mayor’s Commission on Aging and Long-Term Care, and a member of the Southeastern Virginia Association for Volunteer Administration.

Motivating factor: I am very competitive and results oriented. This is both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. I want to win (fundraising for a cause being the prize) and I want to see the fruits of my labor immediately.

Advice for young people: Know what motivates you and brings you joy, and don’t settle for the preferences of your peer group. In a world of constant social feedback through technology, school, work, etc., it’s getting harder and harder to figure out how hardwired you are. CS Lewis has amazing writings on the dangers of going with the flow. It’s important to cooperate in society, but it’s equally important to know your own voice so you don’t get carried away by the constant opportunities for groupthink or hysteria. Think of it like radio frequencies or channels. Successful, compassionate people can distinguish their own “channel” from that of others.

The only thing I would change about Hampton Roads: Public transport. Physical access to resources is one such determinant of social well-being. A region like ours, both sparsely populated and geographically vast, really needs better ways for people to move around and access what they need to thrive, not just survive.

The greatest asset of the region: I may be biased, but I think our nonprofit community here is amazing! We have the organizational diversity of much larger metropolitan areas and an organization to meet almost any need you can think of. I have seen collaborations between these organizations and the cities they serve increase rapidly as we emerge from the pandemic. There’s still room for improvement, but if you’re not already philanthropically involved in a cause in Hampton Roads, you’re missing out. Get out there to volunteer, donate and stand up for something you love. It will benefit you as much as the cause, I promise!

Break time : I enjoy taking long walks on the beach with Marc, cuddling my senior pugs, improving my foster parenting skills, cooking, exploring the Hampton Roads food scene, running, and continuing to play music – the clarinet is my weapon of choice. choice.

What really sticks with me: Absence of any effort.


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