Meet Annie

#TeamRogueHeart welcomes a creative collaborator

October 20, 2021 by Annie

I recently went out to lunch with Megan and Jazmine at Elliot’s’ on North Monroe. Jazmine and I were getting to know each other. Within a few minutes, we were like weavers spooling threads and crisscrossing connections to local artists and musicians. Jazmine, Megan, and I all agreed that there’s something special about integration in Spokane: Two people getting acquainted can draw lines in the sands of time, or thread together a tapestry, to projects, people and places. 

From left to right: Jazmine, Megan, Greta, Annie and Alicia stand together for a team photo

  Home is where rogue hearts live 

“Collaborate, how can I help?” was my email’s subject line to Megan a few months ago. Our story spans years; we’ve communed over check-ins, crossed doorways, and squished onto coffee shop’s cushioned chairs on rainy days. Throughout this span, we’ve shared goals of dignified, heart-driven storytelling. 

We’re not alone–there’s a community that shares our visions. Now, more than ever, finding solace within the community reminds me every day I’m not alone. More specifically, moving through grief and making medical strides ahead of the pandemic returned me to my roots. I’m fortunate to call Austin, Texas and Spokane home. Over the past year, home has been where physical and emotional safety are. I learned to feel at home in my own arms. Gratefully, home is back in the comfort of friends and family’s arms, too. 

What does it mean to feel at home with yourself? What is a home? What lengths do we need to travel to find it and feel its wraparound support? How do you find a home to love in 2021? Hearing from Sarah and Amy, home is where your story finds you and provides shelter. Stories summon and inspire the courage to secure the well-being that a home can offer. The first time I heard Sarah and Amy speak about the Rapid Rehousing program through Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners (SNAP) “Power of Connection” campaign, I was struck by their comfort and confidence in sharing their stories. They seemed at home in front of the camera. They are their own advocates, and their stories help frame solutions with and for others. 

  A writer walks into a teal studio

Collectively, our story is perpetually unfinished, as is our quest to guarantee health, safety, and justice for all. Advocacy threads our own needs and others’ needs through values-driven work. I feel honored to reconnect with team Rogue Heart and deliver values-driven, strengths-based work through collaborative writing. Home is where the creators are. Together, we write stronger. 

Annie laughing in a rocking chair outside of a vintage shop on Monroe
Annie holding a few books and laughing
Annie Szotkowski

Written By Annie

Annie Szotkowski is a creative partner with results-driven experience in writing, journalism, public relations, facilitation, and content strategy for nonprofits, small businesses, and government agencies. Annie received her undergraduate degree from Gonzaga University and is pursuing her Masters from Texas Woman’s University in multicultural women’s and gender studies. She values community, collaboration, ethical storytelling, and connecting with people online and outdoors.

Click to See What Else is Happening at Rogue Heart