052: Bringing core values to our professional work. Creative Director and designer Rebekah Miel does what she can to serve her community

How to chase seemingly impossible goals, showing up when and how we can, and living and working in alignment with our core values. In this episode, designer and business owner Rebekah Miel discusses fundraising for the school lunch debt project, her book project for kids and her position on the Durham Mayor’s Council for Women representing arts and culture.

The Mayor’s Council for Women meets at 6pm on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at City Hall.

You’ll no longer find Rebekah Miel sweating through a Tyvek suit in the lower 9th or eating curry in a refugee camp in Unawatuna, but that doesn’t mean she’s any less risk averse. These days Rebekah Miel is balancing the death defying feat of raising twins with the act of listening hard for how to be a good citizen in her adopted hometown of Durham, NC. Her current job title is Creative Director of her own shop, Miel Design Studio where she spends most of her time trying to make beautiful sense out of a complex world. Ask her what that means, but don’t be surprised if the answer has something to do with books or school lunch.”

This episode is brought to you by the Soapboxers, the official patrons of the Artist Soapbox. If you like these episodes and want more, get on the Soapbox! This episode was recorded at Shadowbox Studio. Artist Soapbox theme music by Bart Matthews. Additional audio editing by Merrybelle Park Productions.

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Time break-down:

[0:00] Episode intro and Rebekah Miel’s bio.

[2:15] Why does Rebekah’s print brand focus on social justice groups, non profits, and artists?

[3:16] How living out her core beliefs affects Rebekah’s business

[4:38] Rebekah shares the incredible story of the Durham school lunch debt pay down

[14:25] What happened to Rebekah’s business while she worked 40 hours a week on the school lunch debt pay down?

[15:58] Rebekah discusses why she often chooses not to separate her personal core beliefs from her business and what that looks like

[18:10] Working on saying “no”

[23:24] The Durham Mayor’s Council for Women: Rebekah tells us about the council, why it was formed and its goals within the community

[27:55] What does it mean to represent and advocate for Arts and Culture in Durham?

[32:12] Rebekah tells us about her upcoming book project that aims to help kids feel safe and help them understand safety drills at school

[37:46] The experience that made Rebekah realize that she could make change in the community

[39:57] Thanks and sign-off

Takeaways

  • When fundraising, contacting businesses can pay off
  • It’s ok to say “no”.
  • Explore the balance of taking care of yourself and your projects
  • Critical needs (housing, child care, access to space) impact artists
  • What would it mean to have someone who is paid to advocate for the arts?

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