People to Watch 2012: Networker Erin Corrigan

  • Photo by Tessa Berg
From the August 9, 2012 edition

Erin Corrigan used to spend lots of time traveling abroad. She may have visited four continents, but her adopted home has piqued her interest just as much.

“One day I was walking through Columbus and I went to some art shows and I went to a concert afterward, and I realized that I was having just as good a time in Columbus, Ohio as I could have in Switzerland or Japan or anywhere,” Corrigan said. “That was a really huge moment for me, because I was like, ‘Oh my God, there’s all this stuff going on here.’”

Corrigan has helped plan popular DIY festival Independents’ Day since its inception five years ago, but this year she has taken the reins. Like the experience of traveling, she believes Independents’ Day should expose people to new things.

“There’s something there that people have never seen before, that they didn’t even know existed,” she said. “That’s one of the things that I’m really passionate about is bringing to light some things that maybe nobody knew was going on.”

Independents’ Day — this year on Sept. 15 — is just one of many events that Corrigan helps to organize in the city. She’s been volunteering and planning events for Capitol Square Rotary for more than five years now, and she runs the group’s early-spring fundraiser, Music in the Round.

For Music in the Round, which Corrigan says will return to Via Vecchia winery Feb. 16, prominent local singer-songwriters perform in an intimate setting to raise money for a new music school at an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. Naturally, the event’s world-traveling coordinator helped put on a concert at the orphanage earlier this year.

So what’s the key to organizing successful events?

“You’ve got to have passion more than anything,” she said. “You’ve just got to be excited about things — really excited, like you can’t sleep at night kind of excited about it.”

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