by Anna Young
For years author Krista Madsen envisioned a world where she could expand her creative talents within The Hudson Valley Writers’ Center. In June, that dream became reality when she was named managing director of the Sleepy Hollow center.
When Madsen, a fiction writer, relocated her family to Sleepy Hollow over eight years ago, she was elated to find that her new hometown was equipped with a well-known writing facility. Though a mother of two, she found difficulty making the time to continue her passion.
“It was always in the back of my mind when I wanted to write creatively, I’ll go work there,” Madsen said. “In my former life, I was a novelist and led a crazy writer life, but I haven’t been able to pursue that as a mom.”
Over time, Madsen contributed her writing talents to local newspapers, including The Hudson Independent, and as editor of the rivertowns regional Patch online website, but her urge to create grew stronger every day, especially after attending events hosted by the Writers’ Center. After signing up for a class, she found out the former director was leaving and applied for the job.
“I always had it in my head that it was my dream to lead this place one day,” Madsen said. “I was meant to be at the Writers’ Center.”
Now in charge, Madsen said she wants to raise money to help the center grow and find different ways to get the community more involved in what the center has to offer.
“I want to make a difference to the center because our community doesn’t realize what we’re doing here and I want people to understand that it’s for them,” Madsen added. “We want to open up the perception about this place; people don’t know enough about it, and it’s just a beautiful and special location.”
Part of her communications initiative involves expanding outreach programs, enhancing social media, recreating the website, connecting with train commuters who pass by daily, and creating more casual happy-hour open-house events.
She also wants to get students more involved by providing a summer camp, stressing the importance of supporting the arts since administrative officials often choose to look the other way.
“It’s so important to protect beautiful things and make them thrive despite everything,” Madsen said.
Despite her big plans and busy schedule, Madsen said the Writers’ Center has inspired her to continue working on her next two novels.
“I think you’re living the best kind of life when you’re busy in the right kind of ways,” Madsen said. “The world opened up for me in this magical way and I feel really, really grateful that I’m here.”