Kit Andrews' Life After Television
Kit Andrews says her new job as ArtWorks' Director of Individual Giving requires a patience that's contrary to the journalism instincts she used on WKRC-TV for 33 years.
"Reporters are a little aggressive. We want answers and we want them now. I have to let (prospective donors) mull it over," Andrews says.
Andrews started in March at the downtown nonprofit. We talked about her career transition after she sent me an email seeking some publicity for ArtWorks' "Annie Get Your Fun (Friends Together)" fund-raising venture with Dewey's Pizza and MadTree Brewing Wednesday-Thursday (Sept. 14-15) for the Annie Oakley mural. (For every MadTree pint sold at Dewey's those two days, $1 will be donated to the Annie Oakley mural fund.)
"I've been aware of ArtWorks for years," says Andrews, who left Channel 12 in July 2014. She remembers Channel 12 stories about ArtWorks auctioning benches with artwork on them.
Now that she's working in the office, she knows the big picture: Of ArtWorks as a youth employment agency that hires many kids from low-income homes and teaches them financial literacy, business skills and safety. In addition to painting the town with 101 outdoor murals in 20 years, ArtWorks also runs an art therapy program called ArtRx, and an entrepreneurial arm called Creative Enterprise.
"People are starting to understand the importance of ArtWorks, that it's not just about the public art but the kids we employ," she says.
Seeking financial gifts for the non-profit is quite different from working in a TV newsroom. In TV news, reporters usually do a different story daily, with little carry over into the next day.
"You rarely have homework when you work in a newsroom. I'm finding here I have to follow-up on things I was working on before," she says. "I feel I'm using some brain cells and flexing some muscles I haven't used before. I loved the newsroom, but everything was about the (TV) ratings, and a different kind of pressure. This is a great fit for me."
It's not completely surprising that Andrews ended up at ArtWorks. In high school, she was a self-admitted "art geek" into painting and drawing. She loves to do needlework. And while at Channel 12, before going into work to anchor Andrews often painted – walls or entire rooms -- in houses she and husband Mike were rehabbing.
"We started buying homes eight years ago when the market tanked," says Andrews, who lives with Mike in a Newport house they rehabbed. "I love to renovate homes. I do have a design side."