Profile: Margaret Lake

PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY YOU SHOULD KNOW: Margaret Lake – Arts Aesthete

Who are you?
Margaret Lake- Miami convert and the Director at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts since 2007. I am a trained poet and visual artist. I attended Westminster College in Salt Lake, my hometown, and I have studied at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland and La Sorbonne in Paris. I have managed venues for the Sundance Film Festival and Miami International Film Festival, been an on-air radio personality and concert promoter.

What do you do in real life?
My real life consists of walking my dog Luna at Bayfront Park, coming to work at the Gusman, cooking when I get home, and doing it again the next day. Real life is Gusman. I play my Gibson Les Paul studio electric guitar, read, write, and sometimes yoga at Bayfront. I love being near the water. I take boat rides from friends whenever someone offers.

What do you like most about what you do?
I like the variety in my job. I enjoy the challenge of keeping creativity alive in my administration. I never have the same day at work even if I try. I get to meet lots of people. I love that I am in a position where I can create change in a community, by preserving and promoting my favorite building in Miami.

What’s your favorite thing about Miami?
The colors. Miami has the most brilliant colors. The greens, the blues, the pinks, in the land, the water and the sky are amazing. Every day my eyes are gifted by the landscape which is ever changing. There is never the same moment, or the same color. I also love the weather. I love the pulse.

If you were in a position too, what would you change? (About Miami?)
If I could change anything about Miami…I would put a grocery store downtown. (I know there may be one coming.) I would also encourage people not to honk, cut people off, or litter. I would ask people to treat others the way they would like to be treated.

What’s coming up over the next month or so that we really need to know about?
Nutcracker, Nutcracker and Nutcracker! Performances are taking place early December please check the website for details at www.gusmancenter.org. Coming up in January, the National Foundation for the Arts will host their annual YoungArts Week showcasing over 150 of the top young artists in 9 disciplines from throughout the United States.

What’s coming up for you personally?
I want to finish a book that I am writing of personal perceptions and anecdotes. I am excited for my first League of Historic American Theaters Board meeting (the premiere national service organization for Historic Theaters.) Mostly, I want to get better at playing the guitar, write more poetry, take more pictures and laugh more.

What Inspires you?

People. Humans have the ability when they choose to can bring more light to everything. Change inspires me. I was raised by an artist and a writer, my family inspires me. Music is my muse. And there is one quote from Martha Graham that is the creed by which I live my life:

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening
That is translated through you into action,
And because there is only one of you in all time,
This expression is unique.

If you block it,
It will never exist through any other medium
And will be lost.
The world will not have it.
It is not your business to determine how good it is;
nor how valuable it is;
Nor how it compares with other expressions.
It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly,
To keep the channel open.”


How would you describe your personal style?

Expressive, left-of-center, edgy, a pinch of punk, but classic at heart. I can skate half pipe in shorts, or wear Via Spigas to a gala. I love both.

What do you do now, that you did not do 5 years ago?
Wear high heels.

What dream have you had that you have accomplished?
Since the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced the Knight Arts Challenge grant program three years ago I have wanted to win one for the Gusman. I wrote a grant that was a finalist last year, and this year we won! That was a dream and it came true on Monday Nov. 29, 2010.

If you had to move to a deserted island what 2 items would you take?
I would take a good pen, and a thick blank notebook. If the pen were attached, I would take a good knife. I could cook, carve, build, and survive with a good knife.

Something new, that you have just discovered about yourself?
I have discovered that I am resilient; I have the ability to create my world.

What are your guilty pleasures?
Taking time in quiet spaces. Queso Manchego accompanied with any European dried sausage.

One luxury that you cannot live without?
My stereo system.

Three Words to describe you?
Dreamer. Lover. Smarty-pants.

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