Meet Our New Marketing & Communications Coordinator: Dana Bridges

My name is Dana Bridges and I am overjoyed to have this opportunity get to work with FrostburgFirst! I am 27 year old Frostburg native, and have been involved in the local arts community and area events for over a decade. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity of working for FrostburgFirst and getting to promote my gorgeous hometown from a larger platform. 
I have never lived anywhere other than Frostburg! I went to Beall High School and then graduated from Mountain Ridge. I went on to graduate summa cum laude from Frostburg State University with a degree in International History and minors in psychology, sociology, and cultural anthropology. I have always been interested and people and community; figuring out what brings people together and inspires them to create art, to write, to perform, and to build new opportunities as group.
Following that, I began work as the Assistant Director of Mountain City Traditional Arts (MCTA) and the FSU Appalachian Festival. Through my years at MCTA I have gained an enormous appreciation for the history and culture of a Appalachian city and a great amount of event planning and promotion experience. I have been able to plan and promote concerts for Grammy award winning musicians, host workshops with rug and basket makers, and be a part of preserving our traditions. In 2015 myself and a few coworkers started the Frostburg Winter Famers Market at MCTA which is going strong in its 4th year. We just wanted to find a way that local farms could have winter access to customers and community could have winter access to locally grown food. It has become a community affair every 1st and 3rd Saturday where people meet and bring their children and feed their families. 
Being a part of the FSU Appalachian Festival these past five years has been one of the most rewarding experiences so far. It is a major community undertaking all under the direction of Kara Rogers Thomas (to whom I am grateful for the opportunities at the festival and MCTA). I have helped bring in artist and symposium speakers, created signage and promotion, run sound systems, assisted with layout, and so much more. 
I have been involved as a volunteer for Arts Walks in Frostburg for the last five years, and have coordinated Arts Walk events, Small Business Saturday promotions, Storybook Holiday/Pirates Ahoy! events, and many more usually focusing on MCTA. I am looking forward to stepping away from perspective of all of these Frostburg-wide events as only one shop on Main Street and getting a chance to see the big picture and the amazing community we have.
I have also worked for and volunteered with the Allegany Arts Council and am on the board of Cumberland’s Whiskey Rebellion Festival. I have attempted to involved with almost every museum and gallery in the area to learn from those organizations and to help to show a larger audience what Western Maryland has to offer!
Over the years I have additionally been very involved in local community theatre through the last decade working as an actress, stage manager, costumer, production assistant, and director. Most recently I directed The Importance of Being Earnest at the Embassy Theatre. Usually, however, I can be found at Mountain Ridge High School helping students act, costuming, building set, gathering props and trying to give local aspiring performing arts students the best shows they could have. Theatre has been a true passion most of my life and I hope to have my own production company in the future. 
I am so inspired by Frostburg, especially in the last few years where so many new businesses from Clatter to The Nettle Patch to Wholesome Harvest have not only opened but thrived in our city. But then we also have so much history in many of our buildings and businesses still going strong after years! The example that comes to mind is the Palace Theatre; still showing films regularly and a venue for community concerts, plays, and bands. Every time I step onto the sidewalk and glance up and down Main Street I am awed by the beauty and history of our region and all we offer. I hope to do my part in showcasing that beauty, history, and community to others in my position at FrostburgFirst. 
Looking forward to hearing from you!