After leaving her hometown in Southeast Alabama for a graduate degree from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications, Courtney set her sights on New York City. After spending a few years working in Manhattan in the world of magazine journalism, Courtney moved back to Upstate New York with her husband and is now proud to call Auburn her home.
So, what keeps this Alabama native and seasoned traveler in Auburn, NY? For Courtney, in particular, Auburn’s a place that’s got a rich history and a lot of charm. Courtney, who has worked for the Equal Rights Heritage Center for the past four years, told us more about the area’s unique historical significance: “People are starting to care a little more about preserving history…Auburn’s an interesting place in the sense that whatever energy was there when all of that activity was happening around abolition, women’s suffrage…I feel that energy is still there.”
Informed by her affinity for the town’s history, much of Courtney’s work focuses on Auburn’s future. “The arts and culture are very strong…Things have completely changed in Auburn over the past five years. It went from being a place that might not necessarily be known to becoming a destination…It’s really special that a city like Auburn has the rich history that it does,” Courtney said.
Since its opening in 2018, the Equal Rights Heritage Center has attracted tourists and visitors to Auburn and promoted all this micropolis has to offer. Located on South Street at the heart of downtown Auburn, the ERHC is more than a visitor’s center; it is a community gathering place, an architectural gem, and a place where both tourists and residents can find something new. As Auburn continues to grow as a New York State tourist destination, Courtney and her colleagues at the ERHC are at the forefront of this city’s evolution.