NAME: Megyn Norbut
WHO IS SHE: Freelance event producer at No Standing LLC
At what age did you leave Cincinnati, and when did you return?
I left at age 18 and returned in 2015 at age 26.
Why did you return?
After living in NYC for almost a decade, I hit a wall. It’s hard to control your direction when you have to constantly hustle all the time and make compromises. I was ready for the next chapter, the next challenge, and that was, Who am I outside of this life I’ve built out of necessity? Cincinnati was an easy option to come back to and figure out what my next steps were.
Were you excited to return, or hesitant? A little of both?
I was absolutely hesitant to return and thought my move back would be only temporary. I spent so much of my youth trying to get out and make something of myself. Leaving home was a big part of that narrative.
How has Cincinnati changed since you left?
I never expected that moving back would actually feel more like moving to a new city that my family just happened to live in. Living downtown is completely different than if I’d moved back to the suburb I grew up in. I like being a part of the building and evolution and growth here.
How is it the same as before?
It’s having my family here. It’s having Music Hall and Union Terminal still around. Bars like The Comet, Northside Tavern, and City View Tavern that my parents used to go to when I was kid are still here, and they’re still the best bars in town.
What’s your favorite new discovery since returning?
The people here are serious doers. I meet new people doing great things in this city all the time. More literally, I love places like Tucker’s Restaurant on Vine Street that’s been around forever, Bockfest, the work the Q-Kidz Dance Team is doing in the West End. I have such respect for community institutions that have been taking care of their own neighborhoods for decades.
What keeps you here now?
It isn’t that hard to meet the right people or get connected to the people you need to make your vision happen. I’ve been able to build my business here and really choose what kind of work I want to do. I’ve found great clients who want to create progressive and inclusive community/arts events. I love being able to contribute to Cincinnati culture in that way. When I was younger, I wanted to live in a cool city. Now I get to help build the kind of city I want to live in.