This week, our Volunteer Spotlight is on Kelly Burns!
Why do you volunteer with ASTEP?
I volunteered with ASTEP because I loved their mission. Art education is so important, and art can be a powerful tool to grow community.
What is your favorite memory from an ASTEP program?
My favorite memory from this past summer is our first rehearsal with all of our sound equipment. After the last song ended they were jumping up and down with huge smiles. The students were able to hear what all of their practice and teamwork had turned into, and they were ecstatic to show everyone at the final performance.
Why is arts education important?
Arts education is important because it teaches confidence, empathy, creativity and imagination. The arts have the power to build the self esteem and spirit of a person, bring a community together, and inspire a greater world.
How has art impacted/inspired you?
The arts inspire me every day, from music that pumps me up in the morning to the great works of theatre that have changed my perspective on different issues. But most of all, the process of creating different types of art has brought me life long friends and colleagues and shaped me into who I am today.
What do you hope your students gain from your time with them?
When I work with students I want their biggest take away to be confidence. With ASTEP, many of the students I taught were sitting down with an instrument for the first time, and the first week of rehearsals I got a lot of “I can’t do this.” However, in the last few weeks we were having breakthroughs everyday. The best part of teaching is watching students work hard and achieve something they originally thought was impossible. I hope they learned that they are capable of anything.
What have you learned from your students?
This past summer my students taught me about community. My students ranged in age from 6 to 14 but they had no difficulty coming together and playing like a band. The younger students looked up to the older students, who found themselves in leadership positions. The community was incredible, as we had support from parents and other teachers from the first day of camp to the final performance. My students showed me just how much you can accomplish when you have the love and support of a community.
Any advice to share for new ASTEP volunteers?
My advice to future ASTEP volunteers is simply to have fun. If your students are working hard and enjoying themselves, then the art you create will reflect that.
Thank you, Kelly for your hard work and dedication! We could not do this work without you!