Introduction of Director of Mission/Interim Executive Director Natalie George with a positive outlook for 2023 at Flower Hill.
Dear Flower Hill Community,
Everything all at once.
Not to be confused with the award-winning movie Everything Everywhere All at Once. It’s not everywhere—I know right where it is. It’s all right here. In this house, on these grounds, and ready to welcome all of you. “Everything all at once,” was the phrase Robin Grace Soto and I would whisper to each other in oh-so-many moments of chaos and excitement during her tenure at Flower Hill. A simple phrase of understanding we shared–the feeling of how time and scope works in a curious way here. Guiding the legacy of a 150-year-old home as a present day non-profit can do that. Spending time with the past and understanding its importance in our current world. Wanting to welcome our community in, and caring for the delicate collection. Getting the day-to-day task list done and having time to dream big about what we want to build in the future. Celebrating the Smoot family and expanding our story to include all that lived and worked here.
If we haven't met, let me introduce myself. My name is Natalie George, and I have proudly served on the Flower Hill board for 6 years. In early 2022, I was appointed the Director of Mission, a daunting title I hold with great respect and dedication.
I can only assume Robin found this title fitting for my understanding of that everything-all-at-once sentiment at Flower Hill. As a part of my role, I am honored to serve as the conduit here at Flower Hill–connecting the board and the staff, bridging the gap between the doing and the dreaming, and simultaneously cherishing the past and welcoming the future.
Spring of 2023 finds me spending more time here actively curating the mission of Flower Hill and our future. I’m writing this message as I sit in the Flower Hill office doing a little multitasking – planning our next board meeting, sitting on hold with the google fiber installation team, prepping for Griffin High School’s Yearbook staff visit, and refreshing my memory of Smoot family details in anticipation of a tour I will give to our newest board members’ family this weekend.
Everything all at once.
The best part of spending my time in the office is the view. I look out the window and I am reminded of how lucky we are to have these sprawling grounds in the middle of our ever growing city. John Plyler has been working hard this week to spruce up the grounds. Cutting back the overgrowth and working with an arborist to pull down the last of the broken limbs. His decades of care of the grounds and the home is awe-inspiring. I know that he knows better than anyone what the landscape needs, but it always comes with a pang of sadness to see flowers cut back. Though he would be quick to tell me It is important to clear the way for new growth. And as I can hear the mower shut off, I am reminded once again of all the hidden gems at Flower Hill.
We have been quietly working away this spring on new projects and initiatives. I hope you will join me over the next few months as I introduce you to new board members, and new staff, and share exciting new projects we are embarking on. I’ve been whispering everything all at once to myself for a few weeks now, and I can’t wait to share it all with you.
Director of Mission
The Flower Hill Foundation exists to honor the late Jane Smoot’s vision to celebrate an Austin founding family of civil servants; preserve one of the city’s last historic homesteads; and empower, inspire, and engage the diverse Austin community of today and tomorrow.