Cindy Stovall may well be the multimedia maven of St. Pete. Whether she's recording an episode of her popular arts and culture podcast "Beauty & The 'Burg," or writing an article for St. Pete Life magazine, Stovall is shining a international spotlight on what St. Pete is all about - and why she loves it so much. As the city continues to grow and evolve, Stovall will be on the front line with a pen in her hand to capture it all.
Years in St. Pete
Organizations involved in
I'm the host of the "Beauty & the 'Burg" podcast, the arts writer for St. Pete Life magazine, a contributor to the Creative Pinellas Arts Coast Journal and a consultant for the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay's Plus Projec+
What gets you out of bed every day?
I think that when you get to a certain age and you're pursuing a passion and you feel like maybe there's less time than when you were 25 or 30, just the pursuing of that passion is extremely motivational. My passion is journalism and finding new projects and coming up with new ideas for pieces. Also, the calendar of great things to do in St. Pete means I have something to look forward to every day.
Why St. Pete?
I was born and raised in New York City. I was the last holdout in New York. My family and I were all in Tampa in the early '80s. When my sister got married and moved over to St. Pete, I started visiting downtown and it was a whole other world. I knew I wanted to be here. I call the downtown area the Manhattan of Pinellas County. Even though I do go other places, there really is no need to go anywhere else. Who wouldn't want to live in a city like that?
What is one habit that you keep?
I regularly swim laps at the Northshore Aquatic Center. I swim about a mile and I really enjoy that. I also love walking my dog. Another thing I enjoy is following other people's creative pursuits, theater in particular.
who are some people that influence you?
So many people have inspired in the time I've been here. I've seen a lot of growth. I especially admire those who I consider foundational to this community's growth. Wayne Atherholt. Bob Devin Jones. Michele Tuegel. Derek Donnelly. Chad Mize. So many of them were instrumental in the formation of what's going on now in our community and I'm lucky because I get to talk about them every time I pick up the microphone - or the pen.
What is one piece of insight - a book, methodology, practice - that you would share with our readers?
I have a few pieces of insight. One, be impeccable with your word and live with integrity. Two, don't take anything personally. This is a big one for me because I've always been on the sensitive side. You have to remember that sometimes criticism can be constructive, though I always say "please express all your criticisms in the form of a compliment." Also, understand that people aren't thinking about you that much. When you realize that, it's actually a relief and it take a lot of pressure off. Finally, always apply your absolute best effort to whatever you do. No matter the outcome, you'll feel comfortable knowing you did your best.
What is one thing you wish you knew about your work 3 years ago?
I wish I'd known more about how to strategically market and monetize my different efforts. Like a lot of people in this community who are creative and innovative, it's always a challenge to figure out how to make a living.
I have a bee in my bonnet about becoming a speaker and I think I have a lot of the qualities that it would take to make it happen. I have a good speaking voice, I think, and there are a few things I really want to talk about that I think people would be interested in. Like what it's like to totally change your profession in relatively late midlife. I think there are a lot of people who would like to find the spark of courage to do that. Also, I really love politics and political strategy. I could see a lot of political organizations wanting someone to come in and say "this is how to win the argument without it being an argument." What we're lacking today is civility, so if you can put yourself in the mind of someone who debates well and can stick to the point and while remaining civil, it could help the discourse.