Emily Rooker of UrbanArt Commission is Honored in the Memphis Flyer!

UrbanArt Commission's own, Emily Rooker, was featured along with 19 others in the Memphis Flyer as one of 20 Memphis residents who are making a difference in shaping the future of the City of Memphis! Author Chris McCoy writes:

"Every year, the Flyer devotes an issue to honoring the best and brightest Memphians under 30. This year, our readers nominated more than 50 exceptional young people from all walks of life. Whittling the list down to 20 was a difficult — and inspiring — job. There is so much talent here.

As always, 20<30 is about what these young people are doing, but it's mostly about the future. These are some of the young leaders who will shape tomorrow's Memphis, and we're giving you a preview of what that city might look like. Short version: We're in very good hands, indeed."

In the article, each person receives a short excerpt for their accomplishments.

Emily Rooker

Emily Rooker

Employee at Memphis' UrbanArt Commission

Music has always been a force in Emily Rooker's life. Her father, who died when she was seven, was a singer and guitarist. She started piano lessons when she was 12, and vocal lessons when she was 14. In high school, she was into choir, community theater, and at age 16, recorded her first album. She left her native Michigan to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, but once she came to Memphis, she fit right in. "I feel like the musicians here are so welcoming and encouraging. When I was living in Boston, there was a really high barrier for entry. You couldn't jump on a bill with another local band. Here, people are more like, come on in, the water's fine."

Rooker is a project manager with the UrbanArt Commission. "I remember the first time I came to Memphis, I was driving through Cooper-Young and I loved that trestle piece, which was actually an UrbanArt Commission piece. It really drew me to living here. So the opportunity to come on at UAC was very appealing to me," she says. "We're trying to strategically reimagine what public art should look like and how people interact with it."

Rooker is a core organizer with the Memphis Feminist Collective. Her band, Name and the Nouns, will release its first album early this year, and she recently got engaged to her long-time boyfriend. "Since I've been here, I've been able to plug in, meet fabulous people, and do creative projects. I think this is sort of the perfect place for me to spend my twenties. I'm not leaving anytime soon."

- Chris McCoy The Memphis Flyer

[photo by the Memphis Flyer]