My 24 Hours in Newport: Kirstie Acevedo

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Kirstie Acevedo_courtesy of Sherman Library & Gardens
Kirstie Acevedo of Sherman Library & Gardens’ parent organization | Photo by Sherman Library & Gardens

Kirstie Acevedo, a leader of Sherman Library & Gardens’ parent organization, enjoys Back Bay living with her family.

By Sharon Stello


After growing up in the Bay Area and graduating from college, Kirstie Acevedo and her fiance moved to Orange County to be near her younger twin brothers while they finished undergraduate studies at University of California, Irvine.

“I didn’t know where we would all end up after college, but I knew that this would likely be the last time we would all live in the same area and wanted to hold onto that a little bit longer,” she says. “We intended … [to move] to San Francisco after they graduated, but we fell in love with the sunshine, beaches and lifestyle of the coastal cities and decided to lay down our roots instead.”

Acevedo and her now-husband, Nick, and sons, ages 10 and 13, have lived in Newport’s Back Bay area since 2018.

“We love our neighborhood and are really lucky to have a large yard with easy access to Back Bay. The ability to roam and explore is so formative for our family,” she says. “When looking for a home to raise our boys, we were more focused on finding a tree for a tree house than a house to lay our heads. My husband and I are both architects, so we knew we could make a house a home, but it is not that easy to have beautiful, established trees. We wanted our kids to be outdoors and have the ability to explore and use their imaginations above all else.”

After working for more than 15 years as an architect for well-known firms like Gensler, Acevedo switched gears last year to become vice president of the M.H. Sherman Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sherman Foundation, which is an investment firm that oversees operation of Sherman Library & Gardens in Corona del Mar. Acevedo also serves on Sherman Foundation’s Board of Governors.

“Sherman Library & Gardens is rooted in incredible history and an inspiring connection to nature,” she says. “Our vision for the future is focused around our mission to provide the public an oasis of inspiration and education for regional history, horticulture and the arts. Through the pandemic, the community support has become abundantly clear with memberships increasing more than 50%, and higher demand for quality and distinct education programs.

“We are carefully evaluating how to provide new amenities that will respect our history, increase our resources and allow us to reach beyond the walls to inspire and educate the next generation. We see the Sherman Library & Gardens as a world-class botanic garden and cultural hub for our community to enjoy. We have the ability to make this a lasting legacy for generations to come.”

When not working, Acevedo can often be found at her potter’s wheel. She’s currently working on black-and-white porcelain pieces with a lot of unusual movement.

“I love making pottery on my wheel both individually and with my kids,” Acevedo says. “There is something very meditative and grounding about working with clay and focusing on creating a piece. I started throwing in high school, taking ceramics every semester and going nearly every lunch [break] for extra time to throw. It was an incredible artistic outlet that [has] provided me with so much peace and focus.”

She also enjoys spending time with her husband and sons as much as possible.

“I am all about my family,” Acevedo says. “That is why this hyper focus … [on] the gardens and our local community was so important to me. We refer to the weekends as ‘family days’ and spend much of this time together in the pool, using our outdoor ceramics wheel, surfing at 28th Street or biking through Back Bay. We believe being outdoors and connecting with nature is good for the soul and helps create lasting memories.”


608 Dahlia_by Emily Nytschyk
608 Dahlia | Photo by Emily Nytschyk

Garden Dining

“First, clearly I am in love with SHERMAN LIBRARY & GARDENS, so this is a must,” Acevedo says. “But in addition to that, 608 DAHLIA in the gardens is fantastic. Chef Jessica Roy has made … a garden-to-table experience that is culinary art—and you must get the biscuits. My kids live off of them.”


Sugar ‘n Spice
Photo by Sugar ‘n Spice

On the Dock of the Bay

“A happy place for me is getting a frozen banana (dark chocolate, coconut and salted caramel—yes please!) from SUGAR ‘N SPICE on Balboa Island and sitting on the Park Avenue dock to watch my younger son sail in his sabot from Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club,” she says.


RaYoga_12122018-104 (1)
Ra Yoga

Working it Out

“For fitness, [of] both body and mind, I love RA YOGA,” she says. “I try to go three to four times a week and find it to be so helpful to keep a healthy perspective. The classes are diverse and the teachers are incredible.”


KIT Coffee_by Sharon Stello
KIT Coffee | Photo by Sharon Stello

Sweet Sips

KIT COFFEE around the corner is a nice treat afterward … with friends as well,” she says. “I always get the oat milk latte with one of their specialty syrups.”

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