CAPA grad is national arts endowment intern

Erika Carroll learned about expression, discipline and challenges as a student in the Creative and Performing Arts program at Auburn High School. Now, the 2011 Auburn graduate is applying those lessons as an intern at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Since Carroll began her internship in the Literature & Arts Education Division last month, she has participated in webinars for the public. She’s reviewed the NEA annual report, grant applications and work samples. She’s attended technology training.

Sure, some of it is unexciting, such as checking IRS eligibility for arts organizations, creating labels and assembling binders. But overall, Carroll said, “It has been so exciting to get hands-on work experience in the arts with such an important organization.”

Erika Carroll, Auburn 2011, with Sharon Nesbit-Davis of the Rockford Area Arts Council.

Erika Carroll, Auburn 2011, with Sharon Nesbit-Davis of the Rockford Area Arts Council.

“Hands-on” is not a foreign concept for Carroll. From the time was 6, she was involved in the summer Rockford Area Arts Council camp, which is held at Ellis Elementary School. Most recently, Carroll was a program director and wrote a manual for the camp.

RAAC campers have a choice of studying among eight disciplines: video, drama, cartoon drawing, visual art, chorus, rap, hip-hop and creative dance. As for Carroll, she said she’s equally passionate about visual art and dance, her concentrations in the Rockford Public Schools. She was also in the academically gifted academy at Auburn.

After performing herself and being involved with local arts administration, Carroll said it’s interesting to be on the other side now, evaluating work samples and proposals. She will graduate from Howard University in December with a major in communications and culture/psychology. For a career, she’d love to do the type of work she’s doing for the NEA.

Many other CAPA graduates have had similar opportunities, among them Maddie Witt, who is studying art at Yale University; Prince Alonzo Russell, founder, choreographer and dancer with Fatally Unique, an “America’s Got Talent” semi-finalist; and, of course, Michelle Williams, member of Destiny’s Child and a Broadway performer.

For students interested in following in the footsteps of these young people, they can attend an information session for CAPA from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, in the Auburn Theater. They can also watch CAPA’s “Dracula,” with four days of performances beginning at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 16.

Mary Kaull is communications coordinator at the Rockford Public Schools. Contact her at mary.kaull@rps205.com. Like the district on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.



1 Comment

  1. We alwayw knew you were the best of the best. We surely knew you were most likely to succeed in anything you put your mind to.
    Love You,
    Guess Who
    Auburn Knights Rule

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