Erin grew up surrounded by cherry farms near Elk Rapids, but left to pursue an adventure at Interlochen Arts Academy, where she majored in Creative Writing and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Her journey continued in New York City, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree focused in Middle Eastern History from Sarah Lawrence College and later stayed to work in the publishing industry. Eventually, she found her way back to northern Michigan, spending 6 years as Charitable Giving Specialist at the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, protecting the natural beauty that called her home in the first place. She then returned to Interlochen Center for the Arts for a 5-year stint as a Charitable Gift Officer for the US West Coast before leaving to work full time as Executive Director of Parallel 45 Theatre, the company she co-founded in 2010. Her 14-year career in nonprofit fundraising and development allows her to direct philanthropy to Parallel 45 and manage its general operations, nurturing the dream of a professional theatre in northern Michigan into reality. The author of Look About You: A Magical Childhood in Michigan’s Wild Places, Erin is also the co-owner of Mr. Music DJ & Event Services and a proud board member of Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology.
“All good art allows us to look at the world without division and, instead, concentrate on what connects us. We need that right now. The opportunity to see the world through another person’s lens is an enormous gift. By collaborating with artists from around the world—and just down the street—we can pass that gift to our community. I never imagined I’d make a living asking people for charitable donations, or running a theatre company, but here I am. Grateful. Art sometimes seems like a luxury and, in many ways, it IS, but that doesn’t mean it’s frivolous. It helps us live lives that are richer, more thoughtful, more inclusive, and more respectful of what it means to be human.”