A native of the District of Columbia, I was five years old when I first saw Superman. He was flying across the front of my lunch box, swooping around the back to break up a nefarious gang, slipping along the narrow side to change into a person that no one would think twice about. Right then, I knew what I wanted to do with my life: I wanted to explore, to discover, to be forever becoming something new and unexpected. And I wanted to make a difference in the world.
At that early age, I had no idea what an artist was, but I intuitively understood that artists were people who made the impossible real, people who uttered magic words like, “What if…?”
And the power to imagine what could be had to be the best super power of all.
When I was 16—living in Raleigh, North Carolina by that time—I got a summer job working as a camp counselor at a local YWCA. It was my first experience working with kids in a learning environment. I found that I enjoyed supporting, facilitating. By the end of that gig, I had added another occupation to the short list of things that I might like to do with my life: artist, superhero, monk…teacher?
I took the scenic route to self-discovery, traveling and working in Germany as a soldier, in Seattle and Portland, as a teaching artist and Diversity Coordinator.
Over the course of many years, I crafted a unique space for myself as an educator at an intersection where art, teaching, and a passion for social justice converged. This sometimes awkward fusion has been the focal point of my professional life ever since.
Art is learning in its purest form; it is an continuous call and response: the imagination inquiring and the mind/body/voice/spirit playfully seeking new ways to convey a multitude of possibilities. Creative making gives form to abstractions and challenges an audience to draw connections to their own experiences.
Art is life and life is learning.Email