Cultural Diversity and Inclusion in the Arts in New York State’s Southern Tier
I was born in a culture and into a world where i was told that showing your feelings or being creative was a sign of weakness. That still remains a factor in the lives of young children today. But ever since I’ve been living here in the Southern Tier I have not had to worry about people wanting to hurt me because of what I’m involved with or who I’m involved with. When i was growing up in Washington DC, there was not a lot of “artistic” activities I could be involved with for the simple fact that they were not available in that school district. But in 98 when my family moved back to Corning, I started taking flute lessons, I joined chorus and I was involved with theater. I now major in flute studies, I teach flute and I work as a Color Guard instructor. And the list goes on and on. And all of this was possible because I “Jumped out of my comfort zone” as my flute instructor would say. Years ago i would never imagined myself doing what i am doing now; as i stated previously where I was born, it was not artistically sound and if you wanted to be creative or had the slightest interest in it you were considered weak. I pity those who feel that way because the Arts are a good way to meet friends, make important contacts and for those like me it’s a way to enjoy yourself and “escape” from all of the drama that finds you somehow. For me the Arts in general have been more of a “life line” for me because there have been times when I have been really depressed whether it was losing a loved one or just something not going right, If I needed to get away from it all even if it was only a short amount of time I could pick up my flute and practice my anger away or pick up my flag, rifle, sabre or baton work on a routine I’m currently learning and put all my anger/frustration in to my dancing and use it to my advantage. As i close my final words are: “Don’t Knock it till you try it” for you never know how it will affect your life.