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Category: Student Profiles

Kayla DeSouza: A Dream Fulfilled

By Miya Williams Fayne Kayla DeSouza entered the MSCLE program knowing exactly what she wanted to do and now she is doing just that. DeSouza dreamed of working at an afterschool arts nonprofit and currently she is a fellow at The People’s Music School in Chicago. “I am very passionate about where I work and

Jing Zhang is Continuing to Follow Her Love of Music

By Miya Williams FayneJing Zhang’s parents encouraged her to play an instrument as a child as they believed it would positively impact her future. At eight years old she chose the Chinese zither, a traditional string instrument, and has been playing ever since. She loves that playing an instrument makes people “more sensitive” and opens

Claudia Encinas Wants to Modernize Classical Music

By Miya Williams Fayne Claudia Encinas grew up in a musical family. Both of her parents are classical musicians and she often attended their concerts and spent time backstage during rehearsals. “Music was and is my entire world since birth,” she said.

Hannah Arata Wants To Share Her Love of the Arts with Others

By Miya Williams Fayne Hannah Arata’s childhood was “very saturated in the arts.” She pursued her interest in music by attending musical theatre camp and playing saxophone. She also enjoyed dance, writing and painting classes. These experiences helped lead her to her career interest in arts nonprofits. “The arts have always been an integral part

Kefei Zhao Hopes to Turn the Arts from Hobby to Profession

By Jacob Nelson When Kefei Zhao first realized she was drawn to the arts, she thought it might be a hobby rather than a professional pursuit. “I was really interested in creative stuff since I was really young,” the MSLCE student explained. She’s specifically attracted to artwork, shows, and film. “It was more like a

Once a Performer, Dana Degnan Aspires to Work Behind the Scenes

By Jacob Nelson While studying to be a performer as an undergraduate at Stephens College, Dana Degnan realized she enjoyed the business and “back-end” area of the arts more than what she was training to do onstage. “And that is how I ended up at Northwestern in the MSLCE program,” Degnan said.

Lin Yuan Aspires to Build a Career in Advertising

By Jacob Nelson Lin Yuan first became interested in advertising as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois while taking a course fittingly called “Introduction to Advertising.” “All of my interest about creative industry started from that class,” Yuan said. “I enjoyed coming up with advertising strategies and creating advertisements.”

Adrian Alea Aspires to Tell Powerful, Musical Stories

By Jacob Nelson Adrian Alea first fell in love with the arts as a kid being driven around in his mother’s car, while the soundtracks to renowned musicals would play in the background. The MSLCE student remembers first hearing Man of La Mancha, Evita, Mamma Mia, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, and The Phantom of

Krizelle Cuevas Aspires to See the Diversity She Grew Up With Reflected in TV and Film

By Jacob Nelson Krizelle Cuevas’ early encounters with the creative sector mostly  unfolded in front of a crowd. She sang in her elementary school choir, played violin in high school, and took piano and jazz/hip-hop dance lessons. Then, while majoring in biochemistry at UCLA, Cuevas got involved with a Filipino choral group and a Filipino

At 11, Kristen Holt Got a Camera, and Found a Calling

By Jacob Nelson Kristen Holt has always been fascinated with television and movies, but she really fell in love when she received her first video camera at 11-years-old. The MSLCE student and Long Beach, Calif. native began writing plays and short films. “I would force my younger cousins to be the actors and actresses to