MY ART STORY by

Michele Medina

Salt Lake City
Utah

medina-transformation-cello-violin.jpg

Woman playing violin in front of a large floral paining

Playing Ravel for Gallery Stroll, in front of Transformation by Christian Michael. Phoo courtesy of Guthrie Studio Artists

Community and arts integration. These are the two things that I do with my life without even thinking about it. I just do it. I am a violinist and a 4th grade teacher, and on my free time I coordinate projects and gather people to play music to showcase the music itself or other arts. I've done this in my home in Salt Lake City, Utah, and I've done this in Central America. If there isn't an organization that provides artistic expression, I will create my own venue and seek opportunities that enhance the arts and the community.

My current consistent project is that I work with a piano accompanist, and we have named ourselves "Harmonic Muses." We play for local events and have played for the public school that I work at. Hana, the pianist, is the founder for The Mundi Project, which donates pianos to students in need of a piano. Hana and I have played music composed by local composers for local events, and have played traditional classical music. We are both advocates for diverse music, and seek various other possibilities so that we can keep music fresh and alive for a range of audiences.

I have played music and done outreach in Central America. I taught music, created art shows and recitals, and fundraised for the community in Honduras. In Nicaragua, I play with young musicians and chamber orchestras there. I have sought musical opportunities in Mexico and as long as I keep traveling, I will do the same for music and art wherever I am.

I play for artists and events. I've performed for Guthrie Studios, a studio for artists, and I volunteer my time there because I am committed to making it a legitimate art space in Salt Lake City and am committed to promoting the artists in Salt Lake. It's a great space, among other spaces, to gather musicians and arrange performances. I am currently working on creating another chamber music ensemble and we are likely to perform in spaces like this, and others.

Finally, I have collaborated with modern dancers to interpret movement and classical, modern music. We worked together to promote modern dance, and I was able to direct the dancers to fit the ideas in my mind.

I've done many other things that are not presented in pictures here, such as coordinating assemblies at my school, and getting students from the public schools involved with the music community away from school. I've volunteered for music organizations, worked with diverse communities, and have promoted cultural traditions for the Latino culture. I improvise, read music, and do anything so that I am able to contribute to musical endeavors. I am always active in the community because I can't imagine it any other way, and there are always opportunities even when there seems like there isn't.

I love the arts. I teach full time, and try to integrate as much as I can. My students know that when I go home I am a violinist who works with children and adults to ensure the community has an aesthetic and artistic haven. I hope one day to have my own organization which promotes the arts in Salt Lake as well as in Central America.

Michele Medina
Salt Lake City, UT