MY ART STORY by

Jessica Gelter

Brattleboro
Vermont

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Three young men in period costumes in a wooded scene

For Vermont Theatre Company's production of Henry V community conversations were organized around emerging definitions of leadership and masculinity. Photo by Matthew Regan

The arts engage communities, build relationships, and strengthen a sense of pride in those communities. My experience began in theater and music from an early age. I was able to build a strong, multi-generational social network through participating in community theater, a community choral group, and our community orchestra. I went on to get professional training in theater, and brought that experience back to my hometown. Back home I develop and produce community theater productions that engage the community in conversation around important issues and encourage them to take action to improve our world! I have also taught music in a mommy & me format to give new parents the tools to engage with their new family additions, and theater classes to students in bilingual and multi-cultural communities. I am an avid advocate for the arts, and executive director for a creative economy organization that focuses on bringing the community together to collaborate with and integrate the arts in community development. Art transforms people, it also transforms communities.