Another example of my efforts to analyze and mitigate the effects of systematic bias occurs in my summber job working as the Youth Chorus Director for Just Off Broadway Performing Arts with the Englewood Summer Drama Program.
In this role, I have the incredible opportunity of directing a youth theatre group in an underprivileged part of Denver. I have been doing this work for almost eight years now, and nothing is more fulfilling than seeing a kid open up and abandon their once-shy persona as they discover a passion for the arts. These children are ones who attend schools that do not have the funding or the resources to host performing arts programs within their schools, and so providing them with potentially their only experiences in the arts is an incredible experience.
I have also had the opportunity to perform with an inclusive, equality-oriented performance group on DU's Campus. As a member and President of DU First Edition, I have experienced, firsthand, the battles of inclusivity and diversity at DU and have worked to improve our presence as an inclusive group on campus.
The artifacts of these experiences that are meanginful to me are included in the links below. You can find photos of past rehearsals and productions and some videos and audio files of performances. My experiences with these two groups were directly informed by my work in an educational environment and my work devising strategies for instigating social change, information about which can be found here.
These creative experiences have allowed me to practice my deeply-held ideals such as inclusivity, equality, opportunity, and diversity in a hands-on, real-world manner. I am so grateful to have learned so much from these performance-based experiences, and doing so has brought to my attention the incredible need for scholars to learn about their communities and to conduct informed and responsible research in order to craft creative and innovative policy solutions to age-old problems like discrimination. These performance opportunities have shaped me as a citizen dedicated to creating change as they have allowed me to see, first-hand, how providing equal opportunities (in this case, equal opportunities to learn and perform) can completely alter the outcomes of so many disadvantaged individuals.
Just Off Broadway Performing Arts with Englewood Summer Drama Program
Creating a huge production with 35-40 children ages 6-12 is always a challenge, but this experience has not only allowed me to improve my skills as a teacher, performer, and communicator, but it has also exposed me to incredibly talented and determined children excited to learn about new things!
Coordinating with other directors, reserving space for rehearsal, and creating lesson plans are some of the most challenging parts of this job. But creating bonds with peers and with the kids who come back for multiple summers, watching their faces light up as the crowd applauds for them, or planting the seed of a new passion are some of the most fulfilling!
DU First Edition
My time spent with First Edition has also provided me with incredible opportunities! Check out some of our performances in the album below and be sure to keep up with our endeavors on our website.
My creative topics of interest:
- Performing arts as an integral part of a well-rounded and complete education
- Performing arts as a healthy and important form of self-expression
- Performing arts as a mechanism by which to obtain crucial life skills
- Performing arts groups as advocates for and agents of social change
- Significant discrepancies in access to performing arts education
On this page:
Photos from past musical theatre productions that I directed with a troupe dedicated to providing performing arts opportunities to underprivileged youth
Video from musical theatre lessons that I directed
Photos from past performance with an inclusive theatre troupe dedicated to increasing diversity and opportunity in the musical theatre world
Video from performances and rehearsals with an inclusive, equality-oriented performance group at the University of Denver