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To Savannah with love: The rebirth of a young creative by Tiffany Wright

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Savannah chapter.

In my last semester of college and as a HerCampus Savannah Chapter writer, I thought it would be great
to kick off my articles with my story. How I got to Savannah, Savannah State, and what the experience
has meant to me. I hope that other HerCampus ladies and readers will be inspired to go through
college and whatever is next on their journey, with no fear. Or better yet, do it scared and see what the
other side could look like. There could be a rebirth waiting for you.

As a 36-year-old claims examiner who aspired to be a professional screenwriter, choreographer and
digital media creative, I knew it was a big risk to take the leap and pursue my dreams full time. My
journey up to then, had been unfulfilling to say the least. Upon graduating from the University of North
Florida in my hometown of Jacksonville, FL in 2008 with a Biology Degree, I worked several medical and
healthcare industry positions. The stability they say you have in those industries, wasn’t a reality for me.
It was after being downsized due to budget cuts twice, and company headquarters moving to another
state once, that I began to re-evaluate my life and pay more attention to my other talents and passions.

The performing arts had always been present and I began to dive in more. By day I was working, by night
I was creating, performing and crew-ing in productions. I never saw it as a career choice for myself
because it was “too risky.” However, after successfully choreographing a few local musicals and my
self-written, self-produced work being selected to be screened in a few regional film festivals, along with
my employer announcing my position would be going to India (making it my second time being
downsized), it affirmed the fact that, if I’m going to risk instability in a career, it may as well be for
something I’m meant to do. I decided it was a sign and time to go for it and pursue a career as a

My first stop was to earn a BFA in Performing Arts and I set my eyes on Savannah to be not only the place
where I earned that degree, but the place that I would remain after college to set up shop for my
creative entrepreneur endeavors. Three years later as I approached my final semester at Savannah State
University, I believe moving to Savannah is the best decision I have ever made. Savannah has given me
more than a fresh start and a place to build my future career as a creative; it has rebirthed me.

On selecting Savannah

I always knew that if I ever got a chance to pursue a second degree, that I wanted it to be at an HBCU.
Being a member of the black Greek lettered organization, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated
really opened my eyes to the HBCU experience, the significance of it and how gratifying it is to attend
and university that was created with you in mind. I was the first in my immediate family to complete a 4-
year degree and the first in my family to pledge a sorority, so that was not information I had the first

time I entered college and really just went to the public university in my hometown because it was what
was there.
Due to some new acquaintances in the area and being part of a Savannah 48 Hour Film Festival film that
some Jacksonville friends submitted a film for, I began to get reacquainted with this city and quickly
learned it checked all my boxes.
From being a town rich in history, culture, great food and a best kept secret of the film industry, it had
all the ingredients that a creative meets hipster could want. Add to that it is the home of the first public
HBCU in the state and the first institution of higher learning in the city, thee Savannah State University
and I knew my search was over.

On the people of Savannah

I thought I knew southern hospitality, until I met the people of Savannah. From my new medical
practitioners, to the people on campus and my new neighbors, I felt very welcomed and overwhelmed
by the kindness of everyone. Fast forward to 6 months after my arrival in January 2020, when I started working as a delivery driver just before the pandemic came to our country. It was at this time I really got to interact with even more Savannahians, from the local grocery store and restaurant staff to the customers I shopped and
delivered for. I felt so much humanity. So many kind words, generous tips, special notes of
encouragement, handmade gifts and smiling faces. I have never experienced anything like it!
Living here alone with no family in this city, those people made me feel less alone during the pandemic.
They also taught me how to relax. Savannahians are always taking time to enjoy life, at one of the many
beautiful parks, never over dressed, enjoying brunches and Savannah Bananas ball games, and
celebrating life. Surrounded by that type of energy and those types of people is a beautiful thing for a
young creative and inspires me to want to create things that inspire and motivate them in return.

On the sights of Savannah
Savannah is the most beautiful place that I have ever
seen. For a creative, it is a walking inspiration. The
architecture of the buildings, the riverfront and the
breathtaking marshes, and even the beautiful
beaches in the neighboring town of Tybee. It makes for
gorgeous backdrops for photos and films,
calming places to sit and write or brainstorm, and
inspirations for stories to grow from.

Paired with that beauty is also, so much pride. So many of the buildings and businesses carry the name
of Savannah in them. The whimsy of the vines and moss, artwork placed on common busy streets and
the bold colors of many of the residences and the elaborate and eccentric holiday decorations all
scream: “Savannah is a place that welcomes creativity. It’s ok to express yourself here. It’s ok to be
different here.”

On the history of Savannah

So much creativity is birthed from history, whether it be historical events, traditions, or people. Living
somewhere like Savannah, which has all of that, has been very beneficial for Tiffany. It’s great to be
somewhere that is very transparent about its history and doesn’t try to ignore it or run from it but does
a great job of educating about it through tours, statues, monuments and even plaques on buildings. To
be surrounded by so much historical significance, feels very magical. Even more so for me, who, through
research and my family historians, learned that my ancestors came through and also lived in this region.
This history helped me realize that it is essentially returning home to the region of my ancestors.

The Savannah Effect

This has all created what I call, “The Savannah effect.” I consider myself a proud Coastal Georgia modern southern belle. Living here has inspired me to execute all my ideas, from a documentary about my journey, to a dance
company and a future award-winning screenplay! Also, to create opportunities that will benefit not only myself, but Savannah and its residents, and to continue to enjoy life, to be kind, to explore like our
lovely tourists, to continue to grow and build and to encourage others to do the same.
I’m so grateful to be in a city that’s such a perfect fit for me. Grateful that it has allowed me to dream again and to feel like I finally have a place that I can take root. Savannah is the shoe that fits, and I’m wearing it. My
creative spirit was dying in certain ways and the Savannah effect revived it!

Tiffany Wright

Savannah '22

I, Tiffany Nicole Wright am a kind (and I’m most proud of that), quirky, goofy, magical, blackety black, hot-nerdy, semi-accomplished, uber-creative, baddie with a FUPA, overtly-resilient, unicorn-ish woman. Jacksonville, FL raised me. While there, I received a B.S. in Biology in 2008 and became a member of the greatest Sorority in the land, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. 11 years later, I finally found my balls, embraced my true passion and left Corporate America & Jacksonville. Since the Fall of 2019, I let Savannah, GA rebirth me. I currently attend the University by the Sea, Savannah State, risking it all to reach my next chapter in my journey to becoming a professional screenwriter and choreographer. I’m matriculating through my B.F.A., majoring in Visual and Performing Arts with a concentration in Theatre, Minoring in Dance. 3 years ago, I launched my brand MsDevotedTiff Productions, to showcase my writing through digital content and visual media. I have been fortunate enough to have my short films and parodies, screened in film festivals including: LOL JAX (FL), SSU Indie (GA) & Dumbo (NY, semi-finalist) Film Festivals. The assumptions about, underestimations of and lack of permissions given for black woman to be multi-layered, are what drives my storytelling. I tell my truth, usually with a humorous or performing arts twists. I’m “In Living Color” meets weird Al Yankovic (oops, did I just date myself?) with a huge splash of Beyoncé “Lemonade” vibes.