“Putting pen to paper isn’t the only creative part of the process. In community development, everyone plays a role in getting neighborhood projects built. The Rose Fellowship gave me the tools and skills to follow through on the community’s vision. It was a huge learning experience.”
During her fellowship with the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA), Parie managed the design and construction of the Croft Place Townhomes—21 affordable homes for low-income and formerly homeless people. With homes clustered around a central courtyard, the community is focused on preserving green space and creating a safe haven for the many Croft Place kids to grow up. Sustainability features, such as solar panels, native landscaping and innovative building materials, make this project a ground-breaking example of green affordable housing, and a comfortable and efficient home for families to live in community.
Parie also served as the design facilitator and project manager for the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, housed in the renovated Historic Cooper Elementary School. DNDA’s goal was to transform the abandoned 1917 school building into a creative community hub, while preserving its historic character.
Thanks in large part to Parie’s efforts, the Center now features 36 affordable live/work studios for artists on the upper floors. The ground floor cultural arts center contains a theater, movement studio, recording studio, media lab, workshop and classroom spaces for community events. Parie facilitated the community’s vision to make the ground floor an arts incubator, collaborating with the center’s anchor tenants. The center has thrived and grown to include six arts-education nonprofits, with a comprehensive program of free arts classes for youth and plans for a youth-run record label. Parie continues to work and live in the Delridge neighborhood, remaining active with DNDA projects and as a board member for the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.