Focus through a new lens

Susan Miller

Susan Miller (FL ’14), Humana

by Susan Miller, Focus Louisville – September 2014 –

Too often we go about our daily lives, wake up, get the kids ready for school, go to work, pick up the dry-cleaning, go home, make dinner, do homework, get ready for bed, wake up and do it all over again.  Focus Louisville recently provided a 3-day disruption to that daily grind.

If you have ever dabbled in amateur photography, you have probably gotten your hands on a good camera.  Those ‘good’ cameras come with a normal lens, one that can be used in many common photography situations, and used most often.  But to get really good pictures, pictures that make you look at things differently, you have to change lenses.  From wide-angle, to fish-eye to zoom to telephoto lenses, each has a different purpose and each provides a very different view of the subject matter.  And so it is like the Focus Louisville program.  As a life-long Louisville resident, I can truly say I have a new view of my beloved community.


The Focus Louisville program offered a 3-day immersion in the city through multiple lenses, from the wide-angle lens of economic development and Metro Government, to the fish-eye lens of the Arts in our community; we explored some of the macro level issues and topics in our community.  We also zoomed in to closely explore one of the largest public school districts in the country and agencies that serve those in need.  Focus Louisville participants discussed the root cause of some of the challenges we face in the community, and how we can collaborate to help make it better.

In the end, as a master photographer can do with his many lenses, I walked away having seen Louisville through a very different perspective. But one perspective remained the same and grew stronger.  A community is only as good as its people, and Louisville has some of the finest – people who can and want to make a difference. And I can say I have been inspired to be a bigger part of the art project, and to try some new lenses. I hope my fellow graduates will join me along the way.