This post is part of a personal project series called "Who's Who on the Hill" which features people and businesses in my Lancaster City neighborhood which is affectionately known as Cabbage Hill or "The Hill". Below is a short Q&A with Amber Kane of Fairview Avenue intermingled with photos of her in her home where she has a weaving studio. To learn more about Amber and her art, check out her website: http://amberkane.com/
Q: How long have you lived in the neighborhood and why did you decide to move here?
A: My husband and I have lived here for almost a year. We're both originally from Lancaster (not the city), but moved away 8 years ago for work. I taught high school art in the public school system for 8 years, and while I love teaching, was becoming overly frustrated with the public school system and needed to find a change. Housing prices in the city were a huge appeal, so we started looking, and I quickly fell in love with our current home. It allows me to walk to work at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design, we're close to family and friends, and there's a great art culture.
Q: What do you "do" (profession, hobby, etc)?
A: Since I left my full time teaching position last year, it's no simple task to boil down what I do professionally; however, everything always comes back to teaching and creativity.
I work part time at the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design (PCAD) in Continuing Education.
I teach homeschool students AP Art and Art History courses online through PA Homeschoolers.
I teach continuing education classes for PCAD.
I design and weave one of a kind scarves that you can check out at amberkane.com
I teach weaving lessons in my home studio.
My mom (a former teacher) and I are currently working on developing materials for homeschooling parents, as well as for parents to use over the summer.
Overall I love to work. So you can usually find me teaching, creating or reading about teaching and creating. If it's a sunny day, you can often find me working outside on the front porch, and the neighbor kids are quickly discovering that it's easy to talk me into getting out art supplies and doing art projects with them.
Q: What is a favorite memory or moment you recall from living on The Hill?
A: Even though we haven't lived here long, there are a lot of great memories. My husband and I often comment that we know and talk to more people here than when we lived in downtown Mechanicsburg. When we first moved in, neighbors delivered a warm dinner (they had no idea that we didn't have a kitchen, making a warm dinner a real treat). It didn't take long to get to know "Cabbage Hill Joe". On a sunny day, he's always outside ready to greet you with a smile and a big wave. He also convinced another neighbor to crawl through the third floor window of our home when I locked myself out. (Update: Since the writing of this blog post, Cabbage Hill Joe passed away. You can read his obituary here.)
Q: If you could change or improve something about the neighborhood, what would it be?
A: We were drawn to this neighborhood because it was clear that the neighbors care about their homes. They have beautiful well kept yards, flower boxes and hanging planters. But we also knew that the neighborhood would bring new challenges, as is expected in an area struggling with poverty. I'm a dreamer and an optimist, and the people in this neighborhood give me hope for change. The main thing that I would like to see happen is for everyone to actively work together in cleaning the trash off the streets. Littered streets are like a permission slip to litter some more. I'd like to see us strive to reverse the cycle and take away the permission slip, by walking together, getting to know each other and picking up trash. I'd also love to see more public trash cans placed along the streets, like those that line the streets downtown (I have many more ideas and dreams, but find that it's always good to start with something that's easy to take action on right away).
View an extra bonus video of Amber weaving one of her scarves below: