Meet Cathryn Davis Zommer, the force behind Enough Pie, which this month hosts its annual arts extravaganza, AWAKENING
Cathryn Davis Zommer at play in the under-construction Butterfly Book Nook at 1020 King Street, which served as the starting point for April 28’s AWAKENING: MOTION kickoff parade
As you make your way through the Upper Peninsula, keep your eyes peeled for crosswalks painted by local artists, creative bus stops, and a “Please Slow Down” campaign. These art installations are part of AWAKENING: a public project that from April 28 to June 1 shines a light on issues impacting the area. Here, Cathryn Davis Zommer—executive director of Enough Pie, which organized the event with Charleston Moves—fills us in on 2018’s “Motion” theme, and more.
CM: For those unfamiliar with Enough Pie, can you give a quick introduction?
CZ: Enough Pie is a nonprofit that uses creativity to connect and empower our community. We’re based in the Upper Peninsula—an area that’s now slated for big growth but one that’s been decimated by huge roadways cutting through neighborhoods and keeping neighbors from getting together. Our efforts take on a lot of forms, from a knitting circle to community pizza parties to the artistic installations you see during our annual spring AWAKENING.
CM: How did you land on “Motion” for this year’s AWAKENING theme?
CZ: Based on suggestions from the community. One thing we hear again and again is how hard it is to get around if you don’t have a car. Sidewalks are broken or simply end, biking can be scary, and there is a lack of safe crosswalks. So we started imagining: What if there was a protected bike lane; what if there were more crosswalks; what if it wasn’t terrifying to cross the intersection between Morrison and Meeting and Mount Pleasant Streets?
CM: Why do you think art is a successful way to connect people?
CZ: Creativity is at the heart of being human, of being alive. When we sing together, dance together, break bread together, we connect, and those connections are what makes life worth living. They’re also what makes neighborhoods stronger and healthier. They say money makes the world go ’round, but I believe creativity does. It’s the creative spirit that’s at the core of entrepreneurialism and activism.
CM: Have you always been involved in the arts?
CZ: Yes! I’m blessed to have been raised by two creative parents. My mom was an artist—one of my first memories is the sound and vibration of her potter’s wheel. My dad was a psychologist enamored with Carl Jung, so he encouraged me to record my dreams. I used to marble my own paper for my science fair projects, so there was always an artistic flair—my first job was as a professional clown.
Lives: James Island (where she’s president of her neighborhood association)
Has a degree in: Interdisciplinary studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Side gig: Next month, Zommer will be ordained a “minister of movement.” She teaches classes in Nia, “a type of dance centered around the joy of movement,” she says.
On AWAKENING: For details about all the April 28 to June 1 happenings, visit awakeningmotion.org.