Young’s accomplishments are everywhere

There are certain people who make the world brighter, prettier and rarely share in the spotlight. That’s Elizabeth (or just Liz) Young’s role in Key West as executive director of the Florida Keys Council of the Arts since 2008. Placing beautiful art in public places, bringing artists into the community and showcasing them on every available blank wall or outdoor space, attracting audiences from around the world to the Keys for the truly unique and visual arts is not an easy task. But the accomplishment can be seen all over, with art and artists flourishing in our community. Young’s background started on the North Shore of Chicago and at Wheaton College where she studied art history and theater. Then she left behind the bright lights, big city of New York in 1987 and didn’t look back. For 30 years, Young has been a part of our community raising her two daughters, joining Leadership Monroe XXII and CFFK Leadership Success Academy. Young was named a CFFK Unsung Hero for her role in the production of “Nutcracker Key West.” From government buildings to the airport to just about anywhere that art can go, Young has helped make the Keys a work of art.


Full Name? Elizabeth Server Young.


Worst nickname? Frizzy Lizzie.


Do you have a life credo or motto? I do my best to live by the one my husband Gary taught me: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.


What is something you never thought would happen in your life, and surprisingly changed everything? Met the man of my dreams, left NYC and my career as a casting director for film, theater and television and moved to Key West! Happily married and raised two beautiful, accomplished daughters!


What’s one thing you have yet to achieve on your “bucket” list? Ahhhh … I don’t have a bucket list!


What’s the most used image in Keys art? The conch shell; close second is palm trees!


Which TV, movie or superhero character is your alter ego? Elizabeth Taylor in the film “National Velvet.”


What is your nerdiest passion? Needlepoint.

Are local arts moving in the right direction? I’m pleased … there’s more and more variety and lots of growth in the Middle and Upper Keys! Of course I’d like to see our local artists (in all genres) thrive and be challenged and inspired.


What was your first thought this morning? Where’s my coffee?


Favorite guilty pleasure? I have two – potato chips and watching “Say Yes to the Dress.”


If you could grant Key West one wish, what would it be? Cherish the beautiful environment and appreciate all of the people who live here and make it the unique island chain that we all love.


What’s your dream job? I’m doing it! I am honored and proud to do the work of supporting, promoting and enriching all of the arts throughout Monroe County!


For lunch with one famous person, whom would you choose? Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis


Finish these sentences …


Art in the keys is … everywhere, vibrant and always evolving!


My friends and family would describe me as … busy, thoughtful and someone who stays up too late.


When I go, I will go … having lived my life to the fullest.


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