Meet Tallahassee Artist Donna Cotterell

“Artists Inspire!” Donna Cotterell

COCA /Tallahassee Arts continues a new feature called “Artists Inspire” to feature local artists of all genres in our community. “Artists Inspire” gives us a glimpse into the lives of our working artists and cultural leaders – promoting what is unique to Tallahassee and our surrounding area. In August 2021, we celebrate National Black Business Month.

Donna Cotterell is an educator, writer, producer, director, and “artivist” who resides in Tallahassee, Florida. She has a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Umass/Boston, a M.S. in Administrative Studies from Boston University, and an M.Ed. from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Indaba is a Zulu word for coming together for a meeting or purpose.  Indaba Theatre’s purpose is to inspire, empower, uplift, and create healthy outlets of self-expression; using theater as therapy to help people overcome obstacles in their life. Indaba uses the healing modality of art in all its forms. Click here to learn more about Indaba Theatre.

What is necessary for your creative process?

The necessary ingredients for my creative process are willing participants with a story to tell.

What fictional character would you like to bring to life and meet?

I would like to bring to life Dorothy from ‘The Wiz’ and the Scarecrow, aka Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

What music is playing in your car?

Aretha Franklin, Chaka Kahn, and Billie Holliday.

What is the last local live performance, or book you have read, that had an impact on you?

The latest live local performance was the Common Taters at The Moon. The band and singing were phenomenal!

It’s time to explore Tallahassee and Leon County; where are we going and why?

We’re going to bike the St. Marks trail because I need the exercise.

If you were trapped in a TV show or movie for a month, which would it be?

I want to be trapped in the reality TV show ‘Survivor.’  I love the challenges and would like to see if I can survive with a bunch of strangers on an island for a month.

What superpower would you like to have?

I would like the power to read people’s minds, so I know who’s down with me.

What do you like best about living in Tallahassee?

The people of Tallahassee are the salt of the earth.

What have you learned from failure?

Through my failures, I have learned to never give up, keep going even when it seems hopeless.

What do you hope you will be remembered for?

I hope that I will be remembered for helping some people along the way, lifting them up, and inspiring them to their greatness.

By Erica Thaler
Council on Culture & Arts (COCA)

Want to learn about more artists in our local community? Check out these recent “Artists Inspire” posts.

Visit for more information about local arts and cultural events and ways to get engaged in our area’s cultural community!