Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
A key player in the regional cultural scene of Niagara, their cultural programming is world-class, hip, and a lot of fun. Every year students in STAC make fieldtrips to see and participate in their events. See nac.org for more information.
Many of the brains and hearts at the NAC are graduates of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. We asked the creative team at NAC to tell us about being a student a Brock and what it means to build a life in arts and culture in Niagara. Natasha Pedros, Steve Remus, Kasia Smuga, and Annie Wilson shared their experiences with us.
Why did you come to Brock?
NP: . . . I felt a real connection to the professors and the work going on there. . . . I liked the grassroots feel and I was pretty sure that the program would offer me a well rounded experience.
(Natasha Pedros is a graduate of the Dramatic Arts Department and a founding member of the Suitcase in Point Theatre Company.)
What was the best thing or experience that being a student at Brock offered you?
KS: Brock offered an assortment of encouraging teachers and small intimate classes. Everyone knows each other in a small department. You know the other students in your class, you grow up together for four years and learn to trust each others criticisms. That’s a privilege that larger schools can’t contend with.
(Kasia Smuga is a graduate of the Visual Arts Department.)
What are you doing now?
AW: Working a lot. I'm the General Manager of Suitcase in Point Theatre Company, responsible for infrastructure and communities at NAC, Co-founder/ Interim Project Manager of In the Soil: Niagara's Homegrown Arts Festival.
(Annie Wilson is a graduate of the Theatre History and Drama in Education programs of the Department of Dramatic Arts. She also minored in History. In 2008 Suitcase in Point was presented with the Innovation in the Arts Award at the annual St. Catharines Trillium Arts Awards.)
What's the best thing about working in arts and culture in Niagara?
SR: Niagara's arts and culture are self-determining. By that I mean the artists who are here, who are committed to working and responding to the community, are shaping what Niagara's arts and culture look like. . . . Consider it a land of opportunity for artists, an exciting frontier.
(Director of the Centre, Steven Remus is a graduate of both History and Visual Arts at Brock University. In 2008 Steve was presented the Excellence in the Arts Award: Established Artist at the annual St. Catharines Trillium Arts Awards.)