“How do you bring the D.C. arts scene to people at home?” asks Carson Collins, social media manager of the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art. The school has made this possible by launching a digital series, Lunch with the Rome School this semester to bring students, faculty, staff, and alumni together for a closer look at the inner workings of the school and industry in a time where everyone is separated and living in different places.
The weekly digital series explores programs and degrees that the Rome School offers. The lunch-time series features three rotating segments highlighting a different major every week on their social media channels.
“We wanted to create this series to bring students together who are living all over the place, expose them to artistic conversations with a variety of guests, and keep them updated on what others are doing within the school and industry,” said Collins.
The segments include Rome School at Home — a concert lecture series with current faculty and students to get a glimpse into what they’ve been working on over the semester; Coffee Chats with Alumni — discussions with notable alumni and faculty as they share their experiences working in the current artistic climate, and offer advice for students on how to stay engaged in the arts during the pandemic; and Living Well in your Living Room — tips on ways to stay active and mentally healthy with experts in music therapy, vocal wellness, and yoga, specifically tailored for performers and artists.
Rosalind Flynn, professor of drama and head of the M.A. in Theatre Education program, was featured in Coffee Chats with Alumni during education week. Flynn, a CatholicU alumna, shared her experience since graduating, informed viewers about theater education, and gave advice to artists during the COVID pandemic.
“Look at this time as a portal, as opposed to a hole,” said Flynn. “What can artists do now because of these restrictions? We all have this huge concrete block in front of us, but what can we do to push through it and bring some artistic beauty to the world? What do people need right now? Is there some way you could fulfill that need so creativity can continue to grow?”
Collins, who was a fulltime actor before the COVID pandemic hit, expressed the importance of adding wellness into the digital series. “You have to maintain your health and stamina being a performer as it’s a physical job. Now we’ve given a reason and opportunity for people at CatholicU to get up and move with Living Well in your Living Room.”
Naima Burrs, doctoral candidate in instrumental conducting, said she’s been enjoying seeing friends featured in the digital series and hearing from different people in the arts. “It is definitely a wonderful way to engage the community and to share information about those who make CatholicU the wonderful place that it is — our school has so much to offer!”