Who Am I?
My name is Emily Evey and I am a writer, actor, singer, and applied theatre practitioner. I have a passion for social justice issues and arts administration. I currently work part-time for ArtsAltoona in their Marketing Department along with three other jobs. I grew up in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania and have been in the area for most of my life. I will be blogging regularly for ArtsAltoona!
Why Do I Love The Arts?
I love the arts because they move people. One of the first moments I realized how important the arts were to me was when my parents divorced. When they first told me about their separation, my straight A grades dropped and I dove into every arts outlet I had available. Expressing how I felt in poetry, visual art, singing, and theatre helped me to grieve in a way that was appropriate and allowed for me to learn more about who I am. The arts have moved me through every stage of my life and it has been amazing to see that the arts have done the same thing for other people as well. Even when people are set in their ideologies and opinions, when they see a piece of art that touches them, they question everything – even what they believe to be true. Jacqueline Lawton, professor, playwright, and dramaturg, said in one of her workshops that I attended in 2016, “maybe if we can see it on stage, we can believe it.” That quote encapsulates how I feel about art in so many ways. Well crafted art in any medium can emotionally touch and even change people. That is pretty amazing to me!
What I Bring To The Arts
As an artist and arts administration professional, I hope to encourage others to advocate for access to education and social justice within their community, express their deepest passions through their art form, and to go beyond their limits as an artist and as a person. There are plenty of artists who are good at what they do on stage or behind a paint brush, but that is where they stop. They stay in their comfort zone and what society has defined as their role. Creating new work that pushes my comfort level, volunteering for causes that make my community a better place, and constantly honing my crafts as an artist are what set me apart from the rest. Playwriting, assisting with master classes at conferences and prisons, serving on committees for local theatres, and volunteering onstage or behind the scenes while holding down multiple jobs is not easy. But it is what I do and who I am!
How I Think The Arts Enrich My Community
The arts have been an integral part of Blair County for longer than I have been alive. There are a lot of community members that are involved with music, photography, theatre, and other art forms outside the jobs they have in the area. These outlets I believe provide substance to their lives. The wear and tear of everyday life is hard, but when people are immersed in the arts, they realize the most beautiful moments are the everyday moments. Experiencing something magnificent, something relatable, something beautiful, or even something new can truly make a difference in someone else’s life. It takes one moment to change someone’s perspective. I believe that the art this community makes provides a lot of opportunities for these moments. It is up to the patron to experience them. There are so many opportunities to get involved in the arts in Blair County and so many talented people that make it all happen that it is impossible not to recognize how they are inexplicably tied to what makes our community great.
Check out this article by the Altoona Mirror about the Altoona Chapter Ghostlight Project I organized in January 2016: http://www.altoonamirror.com/news/local-news/2017/01/project-focuses-on-those-in-need/