at a glance
The Pro Stuff
Title: Poet & Social Practice Artist, Founder of No Starving Artist Academy & The Nia Collection
Education: Bachelors in Business Administration & Marketing, MTSU
MFA in Creative Writing (poetry), Vanderbilt University
Leadership Nashville, Class of 2018
Service in the Arts Community:
A Dozen Truths & a Lie (which one is the lie????)
Brief Bio / Speaker's Intro
Stephanie Pruitt is a poet and social practice artist who has taught at Vanderbilt University, the Sewanee Young Writers' Conference, and as a visiting artist in over one hundred K-12 and community settings. She is the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and Essence Magazine named her one of their “40 Favorite Poets.” Stephanie serves as a Commissioner for Metro Arts and on the board of directors for the Arts & Business Council. She prefers flip flops over stilettos, pancakes over waffles, and the toilet paper is always over, not under. When at her Nashville home, the mother of Nia and wife of Al can often be found with an 70lb dog in her lap. The TEDx speaker is the founder of NoStarvingArtist(dot)me and is committed to helping creators make a LIFE and LIVING with their art.
There was a little girl whose mother took her to the library every week. It was her one place without any limits – any book, any subject, as many as she could carry.
The weekly journeys always brought the girl home with a towering stack of excitement.
Whether her parents read to her, or she devoured the pages by herself with a flashlight under the covers, the result was always the same; the little girl was moved to write and draw.
Much to her parents’ dismay, she didn’t always use paper.The young reader wanted to see her ideas on the sofa cushions and walls all over the house.
They scolded her, gave warnings, put her in time out. It didn’t matter. She loved words and doodles, and wanted to be surrounded by them.
One afternoon the girl’s mother unexpectedly told her to go to her room.
She couldn’t remember what she might have done to be in trouble this time, and walked down the hall, planning her defense argument.
To her delight however, she opened the door to find the bottom half of her walls covered with brown butcher paper. There was a cup of crayons and pencils sitting in the corner.
She wrote and sketched on those papered walls day after lovely creativity-filled day!
Yes, I was that young reader and budding artist. I still feel the same joy in the discovery process. It leads me to put art in unexpected places. I’m minding my creative business in ways that allow me to do the work I love, often collaborating with passionate entrepreneurs, institutions, artists, restaurateurs, designers, educators, and more.
So whether it’s a poetry vending machine, curating a community pop up dinner with art pairings for each course, or working with architects to incorporate immersive artistic experiences within a design — I love to make stuff and find ways for it to live in the world.