1. Tell us about a meaningful experience you and/or a loved one had with the arts (dance, media, music, theater, or visual arts), either in school or in another setting. What did you and/or your loved one gain from this experience?
I have worked as a performing artist for most of my life. I started out in theater and film and in most recent years have been performing stand-up comedy and radio broadcasting. The arts have been my income, my source of peace, and a way for me to express myself fully. I believe my work has brought others joy, as well as made them think about pressing issues. I was blessed to have performed The Vagina Monologues on Vday during the beginning of the Me Too movement. It was a highly impactful show that moved both men and women to learn about diverse issues facing women of every age and circumstance from sex workers, senior cancer survivors, a lesbian’s first love, a victim of a butal wartime sexual assault, to a woman discovering the magic of her own body. This particular show had an impact on me as well because I was able to see in real time how a piece of art can transform, teach, emotionally connect and change people after experiencing it. Art is a place for people to find commonality through a joint experience, whether as a creator or observer.