Katie Kramer 10F always knew she wanted to combine music and community engagement in her Division III (senior) project. To that end, she designed and facilitated a curriculum in singing, musical theatre, and expressive writing, working through the CONNECTIONS afterschool program in Holyoke.
"I've always had the arts in my life. It's been a positive and enriching means of self expression," she says. The opportunity to learn art is "a good way to level out the playing field for students who might not normally be exposed to the arts," she says. She also points out the cathartic benefits of "dealing with complicated emotions" through art.
The level of engagement allowed by her Div III, and the inherently chaotic nature of afterschool programming taught Kramer an important lesson in adaptability. "I was teaching ten students total, and there would be days when I would show up and only one student was there, and I had to scrap the lesson I had planned," she says. "You always have to have backup activities."
Kramer says she is eager to continue working with nonprofits, possibly as a program director or afterschool program coordinator.
Div III faculty committee:
Associate Professor of Music Rebecca Miller
Associate Professor of Theatre Natalie Sowell