Meet Visit Jax Ambassador: Shawana Brooks

photo credit: Tiffany Manning

I'm Shawana Brooks, a literary artist and curator living and creating in Jacksonville, Fl. I use my art, and others to evolve storytelling fused to issues of our community. My passion as a curator has evolved from the exhibitions/programs I did working for the city of Jacksonville at the Main Public Library, to exploring more ways for access to the arts, directly in neighborhoods and communities. Often artists, especially minority artists are often left out of those opportunities to exhibit or perform their art. My work revolves around prioritizing artists and making sure they have what they need to be creators of culture for our city.

1. What do you love most about Jacksonville?

I love the arts and culture community. In them I have made more than friends, I found family, a community with compassion who share my passions. The conversations I have had as a result of standing in front of a piece of art have been life changing. They literally changed my life.

2. What is one thing you tell a visitor that they must see/do when in Jax?

To explore the park system. With over 400 parks in Jacksonville's purview there is something for everyone, a quiet ride on a trail, a beautiful beach, or a nice walk in a greenspace.

3. Where is your favorite local spot to eat?

Jacksonville is a great foodie city. Amazing culinary artists are discovering the secrets of the River City by using its local fare. My favorite place is an Ethipian Restaurant called the Nike on the Southside. I love Foxy Lady, located in the Springfield Community. The food choices are supreme with great vegetarian options. I also love 1748 Bakehouse and Southern Roots in Riverside. It's my favorite thing to find cute bakeries and coffee shops like Brew in Riverside. Its hard to choose one place when our city offers such wonderful cuisine.

Follow Shawana to see Jacksonville through the eyes of a local!

Meet the Visit Jacksonville Ambassadors