MEGAN HENDERSON, 37
DIRECTOR OF EVENTS AND COMMUNICATIONS, NEAR SOUTHSIDE INC.
Megan Henderson joined Near Southside Inc. in 2013 and has been integral to the growth of the community and neighborhoods that comprise Fort Worth’s Near Southside.
“Megan is the cheerleader, banner-carrier and tireless champion of the Near Southside and has become a model for how you grow a community in a smart, vibrant, and inclusive way. She is tireless in her work, pulling long hours and late nights away from her family to help make Fort Worth an incredible city,” said nominator Leslie Ford of Rogue Architects.
Henderson is the producer of various community programs and events including ArtsGoggle, Open Streets, PARK(ing) Day, Art South and Friday on the Green.
ArtsGoggle alone requires a staggering amount of planning and coordinate to make show-up, set-up and break-down flow smoothly for the artists involved.
Henderson works closely with entrepreneurs from start up to expansion. She is able to leverage the talents of community members to foster one of Fort Worth’s strongest small business communities with more than 140 locally owned independent storefronts.
– Paul K. Harral
Where did your first paycheck come from?
As a young child I worked in my dad’s “parts department” at the airport. He ran a small flight-based operation that was both a flight school and a traditional mechanical shop for airplanes in Denton, Roanoke, Cleburne and Granbury.
What movie, TV series, play or video game influenced you growing up?
I used to watch the CNN World News with Anderson Cooper every morning at 4 a.m. growing up. I also was an old soul and spent many nights watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Dick Van Dyke Show.
What other profession would you like to try?
I would really like to work in a human rights capacity for the United Nations or I would like to be a chef. I have always been passionate about food ever since being a latchkey kid who watched endless Food Network shows to learn how to cook for myself and my brother. We lived on the same street as the grocery store so sometimes I would find enough money in the couch cushions to walk down to the HEB and purchase a few specialty cooking items to try cooking at home.
Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.
My mother is my greatest inspiration. She is the kindest, most generous, hardworking person I know. She has always said that her greatest joy in life is being a mother and helping others. If I am ever in trouble, scared or overwhelmed, I call my mom. I know she will come without question. I hope to also be this person for my daughter and for anyone in need.
When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?
I don’t think you “become something” when you grow up. I am a big believer that you ARE something from the moment you are born and that at every stage of life you are something. Positioning adults as the only people who “are something” is in my mind a great disservice to children and their many talents.
What is your favorite song?
Somebody that I Used to Know, Elliott Smith
A Fond Farewell, Elliott Smith
Tell us about your photo shoot prop.
My props are some pieces of artwork that Near Southside artists have created for the various events I have had the privilege of planning for my community. For example, the little purple monster is a model of the “Waffles” 22-foot walking marionette sculpture that Jay Wilkinson and Brandon Pederson created from a child’s drawing and debuted at ArtsGoggle. The beautiful glass magnolia flower is the custom artwork that my partner Tatara Siegel makes by hand from hot glass sculpting for our Near Southside community honorees at each year’s Shindig awards.