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Challenge: Class of 2020

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Shut-In

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Four years ago today, my daughter Sarah and I attended Admit One, the Accepted Students Day for University of the Arts in Philadelphia. An administrator (whose name I should really know because of the important role he plays in this story) read out a series of decreasing numbers--the number of 4-year schools in the country, the number of art schools, the numbers of various degree programs--and ended with, "The number of art schools that _require_ interdisciplinary collaboration: One."

Sarah and I turned to look at each other in our Merriam Theater seats, and we both had tears in our eyes. It was so clear that she had found the right place to study. It was so clear that the right place had found her.

In the past four years Sarah has not only sung, acted, and danced, but has also: written lyrics, dialogue, and music, music directed, played piano and mandolin, costumed, choreographed, wrangled props, designed curriculum, tutored, taught, and put up a full production of an original musical. Last fall she studied at Moscow Art Theater and was able to integrate her neglected athlete self into her artist self with a new passion for the Droznin Method, which we fervently hope she will still be able to study further in the coming school year.

I am so grateful for the time she had at the University of the Arts, especially for the NYC senior showcase that took place just a week before the whole world shuttered.

But I am so grieved that she is finishing out her BFA with the dwindling daily whimper of online class instead of the bang of senior spring and commencement.


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