A public relations practitioner and owner of kawCommunications, Katie Alice Walker grew up in North Carolina and moved to Columbia from New York City in 2007.
She works with a variety of arts and nonprofit organizations and other lifestyle brands from her shared office space with a group of creatives at The Collective. Walker is a South Carolina Arts Foundation board member and a Donate Life board member. She and her husband, Drew, have two young children.
Hands down, our favorite restaurant is Terra. From Chef Mike Davis’ dishes to the excellent service, Terra is hard to beat. We rarely wrap up a Sunday evening without takeout from Thirsty Fellow. Since a Thirsty Fellow server gave us this order idea, we always order a red pie with caramelized onions, mushrooms and Italian sausage. My husband and I try to meet for lunch once a week, usually at Spotted Salamander. We start with deviled eggs, have any sandwich, and never, ever skip dessert. And we love Lizard’s Thicket. It’s hard to resist the Thicket’s chicken and dumplings on Monday night. When we’re celebrating, I love to order a funfetti cake with chocolate hazelnut frosting from Silver Spoon Bake Shop.
My most productive days start with a honey habanero latte from Drip. Nearly anything Andy Haddock, the bartender at Terra, makes works for me, and I especially love this summer’s Out of Curiosity, with Curiosity Coffee Bar’s cold brew, Bulleit rye and blackberry. We also love to meet friends on nice evenings at River Rat Brewery. Trying different beers is always fun, and the crowd is always OK with children running around on the lawn. I always look forward to a Zinger at Gin’s Juice mobile juice cart at Soda City on Saturday mornings.
When I moved to Columbia from New York City nearly a decade ago, my husband knew I’d fall in love with this city after seeing a film at the Nick. He was right. It’s still one of my favorite spots in Columbia. Football might be fun, but I’m more of a basketball fan. Our family loves going to USC basketball games in the winter. The South Carolina Arts Commission is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and beginning Sept. 14, the State Museum will exhibit works by contemporary South Carolina artists from the State Art Collection, and this is a show I can’t wait to see. My professional life often collides with projects I’m really passionate about as a resident of this city, and one of the highlights of my career has been working on Southern Lights, the long-term laser installation by Chris Robinson. It’s beautiful and moving, and if you missed the preview, get excited about this installation’s completion.
In the fall, we can’t pass Dreher High School if the band is practicing without pulling over to watch. My 3-year-old loves listening as the students rehearse through the fence on Adger Road. My husband and I saw Moon Taxi last week at Music Farm. Between the Township and Music Farm, it’s been so exciting to see lots of bands we love in Columbia in the last few years. We always look forward to One Columbia’s Make Music Day in the summer. Harmonicas and drum sticks and happy children making noise on Main Street – what’s not to love? And after seeing Handel’s Messiah at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral last Christmas season with friends, I’ll never miss it. Angelic voices coupled with the beautiful North Carolina Baroque Orchestra.
I especially loved taking my children to frolic in Leah Mulligan Cabinum’s temporary purple lawn in the Vista at Artista Vista this spring, an event I always love. I’m already looking forward to Halloween in our neighborhood, Wales Garden. The night starts with children parading in their costumes in Hollywood Park, which leads to the best trick-or-treating (on foot, of course) around our neighborhood. And even those who don’t live here are always welcome. The drive out to Congaree National Park, alone, is so calming, and the park is a great escape within that quiet forest and other-worldly swamp. When I have a minute alone, I love to pop in The Shops at Cricket Newman Designs, where they help you pair their orchids and ferns to come up with the most beautiful arrangements, and I can see what new pillows and accessories my friends at Travertine Home have in store.