5 in 5: Kyle Cohlmia

Kyle Cohlmia, the Director of the Student Success and Opportunity Center at Oklahoma State University in Oklahoma City, is my first guest blogger.  Her blog,  The Dusty Soul, is linked here:  https://dustysoulblog.wordpress.com.
1.       What inspires you to be more creative?
I think that reading and viewing others’ works as much as I can helps me stay creative. I like to follow a lot of different blogs and websites that promote literature, the arts, and political activism. Reading the opinions of others or viewing other people’s art helps me keep up with current trends and gives me ideas for my own work. I’m often inspired by what other people do or say; something along the way will trigger a creative spark in me. After all, Salvador Dali said, “Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”
2.       How have you seen changes in Oklahoma since moving  here several years ago?
Definitely! I moved here a little over three years ago, and I already see so much progress going on around the city, not only in the architecture and structure of the city itself, but within the mindset of young people. I think young people are starting to realize that they have a voice and can make an impact on OKC’s future and are speaking out. I’m part of a writing fellowship through the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition, and our goal is to create a more defined and refined discourse about art in Oklahoma. There’s not a lot of groups in the nation making such effort. I’m excited to see where the next few years takes us.  
3.       If you could change one aspect of the creative culture in Oklahoma, what would you change?
I think I would encourage more people to get out and explore! We may not have the abundance of culture like in New York or LA, however, where we do have it, it’s strong. I think the more people get out and about around the city, the more they realize our hidden gems. 
4.       Who are you reading right now?
I love young adult lit, so right now, I am reading “Unwind” by Neal Shusterman, a story about four children who run away from their parents before they are to be “unwound” from society. I think contemporary young adult literature is producing important works right now that empower young men and women to be individuals. It’s exciting.
I’m also finishing up Amy Poehler’s memoir “Yes Please.” I love comedy, and I love watching comedians perform. The level of intelligence and bravery it takes to write and perform a good joke is fascinating to me.  
5.       What is your favorite Oklahoma eatery?  
Man, I love food! But, overall, I think I would say Lobby Bar. They have awesome and unique appetizers, and you can even order sushi from the place next door, but in a more intimate setting.

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