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Lauren Nixon, The Arts, Arts in Context Concentration
1. Why did you choose Lang?
I really wanted to be in control of my education. My previous college told me “no” constantly. I wanted to be the decision maker. I wanted to take classes that mattered to me, and write papers about topics that mattered to me. Lang allows their students to pursue their personal interests in their studies. It made learning enjoyable. It made learning a real growth experience.
2. Why did you choose your major and what do you hope to do after graduation?
Coupling dance with culture and media studies was phenomenal. I have a background in dance, but I discovered that I’m no longer interested in performing, and that my true passion lies in dance history and performance studies. Studying dance through culture and media studies really allowed me to look at dance in cultural terms and prepared me well for my future. I hope to work in arts education as well as to be a dance historian and an arts critic. I’ll be attending the University of the Arts in the fall to get my master’s in museum education. I never thought I’d accomplish so much so fast.
3. How has Lang challenged you, your opinions, and your idea of yourself?
Lang has taught me that education isn’t just an act that occurs in a classroom. I’ve also learned that the educational system is meant to be challenged, and so are the beliefs of myself and my peers. Most importantly, I learned about the importance of alternative education. No person learns in the same manner as another. Lang embraces this truth, and I flourished because of it.
4. How do you take advantage of life in New York City?
I did a really awesome internship with the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s Sackler Center for Feminist Art, where I was a research intern. It solidified my interest in museum work. It was incredibly hands-on since I constantly assisted with research for upcoming exhibits, communicated with acclaimed feminist artists, and wrote for the center’s blog. It was the best. I also performed my choreography at Dance Theater Workshop’s College Partnership Program performance. It was really nice to be around student choreographers from other institutions in the city. Most students my age don’t have the opportunity to share their choreography, and I’m thankful. I also had the opportunity to work with the I Have a Dream Dance Practicum. My peers and I taught creative movement at P.S. 33 in Chelsea. We also built creative movement curriculums. The experience definitely strengthened my interest in arts education.
5. Is there a faculty member you’ve gotten to know well? How has Lang allowed you to get to know and work with your professors beyond simply seeing them in class?
Professor Danielle Goldman. Not only were her courses rigorous, but I felt very comfortable in her presence. She treated her students like people, like human beings with emotions. She realized that we were living and breathing beyond the classroom, and encouraged us to explore every aspect of our lives as a learning experience. I appreciate her more than she will ever know.
Favorite books? Directed By Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan and Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider.
Favorite TV shows? I watch the Food Network constantly as well as Fine Living Channel. I plan to be a master at dinner party planning at some point in time. I watch a few trashy television shows, but none that I would mention in public.
Favorite music? The Fugees. Ella and Billie, of course. Madeleine Peyroux. John Coltrane and Miles Davis. A lot of old school hip hop and tons of jazz.
Favorite museum? The Brooklyn Museum of Art. The Studio Museum in Harlem is also spectacular.
Favorite café? Think Coffee on Mercer Street. I also spend a lot of time at Solomon’s Porch and Peaches in Bed-Stuy.
Embarrassing moment? I’m accident prone, so every moment is embarrassing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tripped down the subway stairs. It’s a never-ending battle.