Portland, Maine

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Emily Southard

Helping produce great art.

Job Arts Administrator / Creative Portland, Portland Bach Experience, Word Portland

Lives In The West End

Born and raised in Maine, I went to college in Boston and then found my way back home. I've been immersed in the arts my whole life and love living in a city with so many creative, inspiring individuals. I work for two fabulous arts nonprofits, Creative Portland and the Portland Bach Experience, and am a co-director of Word Portland, a monthly curated reading series. Also an avid fan of the outdoors, I love spending free time in/on the ocean and in the woods. 

Why did you choose Portland? I'm from the area originally (grew up in Gorham) but went away to college in Boston (and Dublin and DC) and spent a few years afterwards up in the midcoast before coming back to the city. Portland feels like a neighborhood within a much larger city, but once you drive even 20 minutes outside its borders you find forests and mountains. And I couldn't live anywhere too far away from the water.

What do you like to do with out-of-towners? Hit the lighthouses in South Portland / Cape Elizabeth. Eastern Prom trail. Dinner somewhere new (and there's always somewhere new). Trip out to Peaks Island (or Mackworth if we don't want to be tied to the ferry schedule). Bradbury Mountain, Wolfe's Neck, and LL Bean in Freeport.

Where's your "happy place" on the peninsula? Western Prom at sunset.

What's your favorite indulgence and where do you find it? Gelato Fiasco. Or cake and a glass of red wine at Maps. Or a hot toddy at LFK.

What's the most under-appreciated place or thing in town? Portland Observatory. Such a wonderful view and the docents know so much about the city's history, plus if you go on Flag Day it's free!

Describe your perfect night—and the following morning—in Portland. Concert (anywhere), late night at Boda afterwards, and then either Bramhall or LFK for one last drink. Driving with friends to Scratch in SoPo in the morning and then having a bagel and coffee beside the ocean.

Do you have a serendipity spot? Where do you always bump into good people? I always run into people during concerts at the State Theatre / Port City Music Hall / Thompson's Point and while visiting art sales at Running with Scissors, Maine Craft Portland, MECA, and during First Friday Art Walk.

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