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Kyle Petersen and Annie Boiter-Jolley

Kyle Petersen and Annie Boiter-JolleyWhile Kyle Petersen and Annie Boiter-Jolley have planted themselves firmly in the Columbia arts and music scene for close to a decade, it hasn’t been until recently that they finally decided to put down serious roots in the area, specifically in the Earlewood community.

After renting a home on River Drive for the past two years, the couple has decided to call Earlewood their permanent home. They recently purchased the vacant house next door to the one they currently live in and will be moving in soon.

The couple both graduated from USC in 2009, got married in 2011, and are currently both working on earning their PhDs.

Since their time in college, Petersen and Boiter-Jolley have both been heavily involved in the local arts scene. Petersen works as a DJ at WUSC, writes for the Free Times, Shuffle Magazine and is the music editor of Jasper Magazine. Boiter-Jolley also works at Jasper Magazine as operation’s manager and is a member of the Columbia Community Orchestra.

While they’ve lived in various places across Columbia during the years, they said they found the growth and hospitality of the Earlewood neighborhood to be inviting and a good reason to call the area home longer than they had expected.

What attracted you to Earlewood in the first place?
K: We wanted to be close to downtown, and we’ve always been fans of older homes that feel like they have a sense of history about them. When we got a good deal on a house with plenty of room, we jumped on it.

Why did you decide to buy a home here?
K: We debated for a while about whether to buy, since we are both graduate students. A tenure track position often requires moving across the country. At this point, though, we feel such a part of the Columbia community that we really feel comfortable putting some roots down.
A: In addition to the larger Columbia community, we also love the sense of neighborhood community that Earlewood has, which we realized during the year and a half that we’ve rented here. The community is so active, and it really seems like people watch out for each other.

How have you seen the community grow and change since you’ve lived here?
K: Well, I’ve been in Columbia for about eight years now, since I started undergrad, and Earlewood about two years. It definitely seems like the Earlewood community is fairly active and growing, with a nice mix of older and younger residents. In the larger community of Columbia, it’s been great to watch the Main Street area blossom with all these new art galleries and businesses. Being five minutes away from the Nickelodeon and the Columbia Museum of Art is something too easily taken for granted.
A: I grew up about 30 minutes outside of Columbia, but came to town often, so I’ve really seen Columbia change over the years. It does feel like maybe more younger people are moving to the neighborhood.

In what ways would you like to see the community grow or change?
K: I’m all about change, but for right now I think Columbia is moving in a good direction in a lot of ways. I don’t think city and county governments are always at their best in terms of ethics or transparency, but you have to take the bad along with the good. It will be great when the Riverwalk and Greenway finally get completed. I’d like to see a few midsize music venues, a midsize black box performance space, that kind of thing.We’re still in the infancy of nurturing a creative class, and it will take a lot of little things to keep moving forward.
A: I’d love to see more business like the Wine Garage open in the area. I’d also like to see more stuff happening at the amphitheatre in Earlewood Park.


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