Maggie Okponobi • The Good of Goshen

Maggie Okponobi

Goshen Arts and Culture District Task Force member, and board vice-president, Downtown Goshen, Inc.

Published April 2021

I’m originally from Michigan. I moved here to Goshen about four years ago to be with my now-husband and stepson. I pretty quickly fell in love with Goshen as my home.

I actually volunteered myself to be part of the Arts and Culture District Task Force. I’m vice-president of the Downtown Goshen Inc. board, and the board president and I were asked for our support with this particular project. Within those conversations, we were invited to have someone from the DGI board sit on the ACD task force. I was very intrigued by the project and felt it was worth someone’s time and effort, and so I asked if I could be a part of it and sit on the board. I feel very privileged to be able to do so.

Downtown Goshen is really a delightful place, but the need and the capacity to bring much more to the community is apparent. Since the first day I arrived in Goshen, I could see that many art forms play a significant role with residents. Bringing this additional task force or project will bring talent to the forefront and add more jobs, tourism, enjoyment, and opportunities for all Goshen residents and its artists alike.

In my view, I see that this art scene can enhance our community in multiple ways. I feel that it can support local artists and their crafts, giving them the opportunity to do what they love, and even potentially as a career. It showcases the importance of art and education. It gives our community members of all ages and backgrounds the opportunity to get out and enjoy different events, such as live theatre, art shows, gallery walks, and more. Lastly, I believe that it brings people from around the country to our city so that they can help patronize not only the artists, but our local shops and restaurants.

As I started coming here before I moved here, Goshen was just a place that I visited, so I was able to see Goshen through those eyes. What I saw was a very warm, inviting small town, a town that embraces diversity, education, that values religion and art and culture and so much more. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do for a job – you will feel welcomed and embraced by everyone in the community. Beyond the people I love about Goshen are the beautiful trails, the green spaces, our downtown, the welcoming Goshen Farmers Market. There’s also Goshen College, which is wonderful, and I am now a grad of Goshen College. It’s certainly a place for many of us to call home.

Writing and editing by Scott Weisser and Neil King

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