Rachel Pittman is a student, journalist and new Indie Grits Visiones intern from Atlanta, Ga. She is in her second year at the University of South Carolina, where she studies print journalism in hopes of breaking into the newspaper business before it dies out completely. Her work has been published in The Free Times, The Daily Gamecock, The Forsyth County News, The Lettered Olive, The Gwinnett Times and on her own very self-important blog. On any given day, Rachel can be found writing, ranting about politics, cooking, re-watching her favorite movies (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Annie Hall and Fargo) or purchasing yet another black turtleneck to add to her collection.
Rachel on working with Indie Grits:
My first visit to the Nickelodeon was at the end of my first ever week of college classes. I walked my lonely freshman self through a downpour to see a movie. Alone in a new city, a new school and a new phase of life, the Nick instantly felt familiar to me. Right away I felt at home in the theater and I correctly predicted that I would be spending a lot of the next four years there.
Thus, when I learned that I would be a 2017 Indie Grits intern, excitement is an understatement for what I felt. This opportunity to be a part of something so unique and positive is so valuable, and I am so thankful.
As someone born and bred in Atlanta, Ga, I can understand the incredible role of Indie Grits — and the incredible need for it. The South has historically been famous for her hospitality. There are so many things to love about this part of the world, from Coca-Cola to Southern Gothic literature to, of course, grits. However, over the years I think the South has lost her hospitality, and making others feel at home is not of the things to love about living here.
Indie Grits — especially with the 2017 theme, Visiones — is helping this area live up to its hospitable reputation. By embracing artists and audiences of all kinds, the rich culture of the South is celebrated and made welcoming, all while being expanded and pushed into new territory. In order to rid the South of the racism, xenophobia and general intolerance that so often characterize it, this expansion is necessary. We can pay homage to the amazing beauty that we have here but we also have to open it up and be willing to improve it. Through creativity of all types, Indie Grits does just this.
So thanks, Indie Grits, for honoring this place that I love and also for bringing it into the 21st century. I can’t wait to see the walls we tear down and the places we explore in 2017, and I’m so glad I’m on the team.