The Clackamas County Arts Alliance team continues to grow! Please join us in welcoming Mikah Neff, our new Program Assistant. As has become our tradition, we asked Mikah to share a bit about herself, so we can get to know her better.

What excites you about working for the Arts Alliance?
Art has the ability to bring communities together. It’s a safe way to explore hard topics, promotes healthy risk-taking, and helps people feel rooted and connected to where they are from.

Do you have any personal interest or passion in the arts?
I am a maker, and I love exploring new creative outlets. My main art form is crochet. I learned to do it about five years ago, and I’ve never stopped. I have recently been designing my own patterns, and I love the tactile nature of the yarn, the rhythm of the craft, and the fact that I can work on it anywhere. I also love drawing, canning, writing, and recently tried wood burning for the first time.

Any past work history/education you’d like to share that may be relevant?
My undergraduate degree is in studio art from the University of Nebraska and Master’s degree is in Leadership and Organizations from the University of Denver. I have worked at two nonprofit art centers, Downtown Aurora Visual Arts in Aurora, Colorado and the Lux Center for the Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska where I’ve taught painting, drawing, clay, fiber arts, sculpture, print making, and other mediums and also worked on the organizational side with fundraising, communication, and office management.

Now for some fun ones!

What is your favorite season?
Spring is my favorite season because everything feels so fresh and hopeful. You can finally get outside and enjoy fresh air and growing plants. I love to hike, and spring is a great time to get back on the trails!

What is special about the place you grew up?
I grew up on a farm in south central Nebraska and graduated high school in a class of 13. I loved growing up in a community that really knows and cares for each other (sometimes too much!), developing a strong work ethic by doing hard jobs like hauling irrigation pipe in the summers, and having the freedom to play and explore outside.

If you had to be on a reality show, which one would you choose and why?
My ideal reality show would be a travel show like the Amazing Race because I love experiencing new places.

What irrational fear do you have?
Strangely, I really hate the feel of cotton balls. My sisters are the same way!

What is the last book you read?
I am always reading multiple books at the same time. I’m currently reading the final book in a scifi trilogy called Stone Sky by NK Jemisin, a book of short stories by Willa Cather, the biography An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew, and a book of poems called The Voluptuary by Oregon poet Paulann Peterson. The last book I finished was Emma by Jane Austen, and I’m trying to watch as many film and TV adaptations of it that I can.

What movie can you watch over and over without ever getting tired of?
I could watch Robin Hood: Men in Tights every day. It’s a Mel Brooks movie and basically anything he works on makes me laugh. I also have a habit of rewatching the same romantic comedies like Must Love Dogs when I am sick and The Holiday around Christmas.

We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know Mikah a bit better, just as we have. If you ever need to get in touch with Mikah, feel free to email her at [email protected].

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