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Surprised twice over: Marvin is Goodhue County Citizen of the Year

Marie Marvin, creator of Crossings at Carnegie, is caught off guard Feb.2, 2019, when being named 2018 Goodhue County Citizen of the Year. Marvin's daughter-in-law, Brigida Smith, is Facetiming with Marvin's daughter, Nicole Cates, who lives in Phoenix but is hiding in the bathroom to surprise her mother in person. On the right is Jacob Smith, Marvin's son. Rachel Fergus / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
Marie Marvin (left) was presented with the 2018 Goodhue County Citizen of the Year award by Terri Malloy, the editor and publisher of The Kenyon Leader, on Saturday, Feb. 2. Rachel Fergus/RiverTown Multimedia2 / 2

ZUMBROTA—Marie Marvin was not expecting to be named Goodhue County Citizen of the Year. She thought that she was having lunch with coworker and friend Ellie Starks on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Starks, who co-directs Crossings at Carnegie and was part of the surprise, told Marvin that one of her New Year's resolutions was to "sit with the people she loves," and wanted to spend time sitting and talking with Marvin.

When the two walked into Bridget's Cafe, they were met with camera flashes, smiles and hugs from Marvin's son, Jacob Smith, and his wife and children. Once the initial shock and confusion from walking into a room filled with the local media and family wore off, Marvin learned that the Goodhue County Editorial Association had named her citizen of the year. She laughed and replied that people obviously did not know her very well.

After hugging her gathered family, Marvin was handed a phone so that she could Facetime her daughter, Nicole Cates, who lives with her family in Phoenix. Cates congratulated her mother and then Marvin, who was lost for words, asked her daughter what she was doing.

Cate replied, "Just hanging out with a friend."

At that point Cates' nephew, Vincent Smith, who had just hugged Marvin, appeared on the screen with Cates. Then Cates emerged from the bathroom to hug her (even more) surprised mother.

As Marvin and those gathered to celebrate her and her work at Crossings sat down to eat, Marvin wiped her eyes, saying, "I'm trying not to cry. I don't want my tears in a picture."

Association President Terri Malloy, editor/publisher of Kenyon Leader, presented the award. The association also includes the Cannon Falls Beacon, News Record of Zumbrota and the Red Wing Republican Eagle.

When the food arrived, Marvin stood to bless everyone at the table by placing her hand on their head. When she got to her brother, Marvin gave him "bunny ears."

Marvin has owned and operated Crossing for 19 years. This artistic space offers a bit of everything when it comes to art. There are exhibits of visual art, classes that teach languages, ceramics, rosemaling and more, a 24-hour clay studio, and summer programs for kids, to name a few.

Crossings is meant to be a space where people can create and be creative. When Marvin walked into Bridget's Cafe on Saturday, she had paint on her fingers and had been working on pottery that morning.

One reason that Crossings is so important to Marvin is that she believes that everyone has a creative and artistic ability. She explained:

"All kids (create). All kids can. And, something happens."

Marvin went on to ponder why somewhere between childhood and adulthood many people begin to believe that they are not artistic or creative. One possibility Marvin considered is that people are told that they are not the best at something or do not have a perfectly finished product. But, according to Marvin, art does not have to be perfect to be important or worth pursuing.

"It's not about how it turns out. It's the process," she explained.