In March of this year Centrum lost our dear colleague, Bonnie Showers, to her battle with cancer. Bonnie joined Centrum in 2018 as the Program Manager for Creative Youth Development. During her time with Centrum, Bonnie left an over-sized impact on our organization, and we will always remember her fiery spirit, deep compassion and extraordinary lifelong commitment to her work.
Bonnie was a force, running with her inspired and progressive ways of being. She came to Centrum with over 15 years experience in non-profit leadership in community arts and education, as Theater Director, Artistic Director, Director of Education, Director of Programs, and college faculty in urban, rural and international settings. Bonnie held an MFA in Asian performance and spent several years in Europe and Asia teaching and directing theater.
Unceasingly committed to empowering both youth and teaching artists, her diverse range of experiences and accomplishments, as well as her spirit of inclusiveness, opened the door wide for challenging conversations and exciting collaborations. In both her work with students and professional relationships, Bonnie pushed for those around her to be their very best selves and thinkers. As a mentor, she helped others hone their abilities and grow in their own leadership capacity. She also helped young artists find and share their unique voices – and delighted to see each individual student soar as they practiced new arts skills and discovered new life opportunities.
As all who worked with Bonnie can attest, she was someone who made room for everyone, while always showing up as her true and beautiful self. Bonnie had a zest for life that was impossible to miss. Her beautiful spark and confident stride made us all raise our heads and take note when she walked in. She took the time to build real relationships, speak her truth, and laugh from the gut.
Known and recruited by former Centrum program manager, Martha Worthley, Bonnie first helped Centrum shape its Native Voices project with the Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction, and our Voices from the Field Arts Academy for students of migrant families. Having relocated to Port Townsend from her work with the Experience Music Project/MoPOP, Bonnie delivered a global array of contacts and artist relationships which elevated her contributions to our programs and mission.
We are grateful that Bonnie shared her time with Centrum, and for the multitude of ways she helped create a more beautiful, vibrant, equitable, and kind world. We are lucky to have known and worked beside her. In her memory we will live in the moment and always look forward, and take time amid the hustle and bustle for deep conversation and playful laughter.