Student Profile: Adia Zeman,College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, Jackson Fellow

Adia Zeman

This summer I am work[ed] at Lyric Arts Company of Anoka. Lyric Arts is the only full-time, non-profit community theater in the northern suburbs. Their season includes 8 regular season shows, 2 “Mainly for Kids” shows, a 9 show concert series called “Music in the ‘Burbs”, year-round workshops theater workshops for ages 4 to adult, and a variety of other special events. My main duties this summer have included writing press releases for the upcoming season, planning and working at a variety of shows and events, creating and executing a marketing plan for an upcoming community mural project, writing a daily insiders blog, and updating and monitoring a variety of social media sites.

I grew up performing in shows at Lyric Arts and never realized how fortunate I was until coming back to work here. Community theaters of this caliber rarely exist in communities outside of the Twin Cities. Lyric Arts not only provides a venue for artistic creation and expression, it also provides the community with a place for meeting and working together. In a time where arts programs continue to be cut from our education system due to lack of funding, Lyric Arts strives to fill in these gaps and teach the community the valuable lessons that the arts provide: self-confidence, creativity, and team work are among these. Lyric Arts is truly a theater for the community and by the community and it has allowed me to see how important it is for a community to have a place that they can call their own.

As a Communication major, we often talk about the different skills involved in communicating however, it is actually quite difficult to put them into practice. This Fellowship has provided me with an opportunity to learn the tangible skills that I will need in the “real world.” I am much more confident in myself now that I will be able to handle any job thrown my way. I have also learned not to underestimate my abilities. Working at Lyric Arts has also affirmed that entering the communications field, in whatever capacity that may be, is the right choice for me. I have also had the privilege of re-discovering why I love the theater and the arts. There is so much joy that comes from being a part of a place like this. That joy is something that I know I will want to have in my future career.

At the beginning of my Fellowship, my supervisor handed me a blank calendar for the summer and told me to fill it in and create the marketing plan for a huge community event that we are hosting in August. I was shocked. I had never done this before! I wasn’t capable! I didn’t know how! What if I failed!? In the beginning, I tried to convince her that it would be better if she created the plan and I assisted in carrying out tasks, but she insisted that the project needed to be mine. It was then that I realized that even though I had only been at Lyric Arts for a few weeks, she already had more faith in me than I did. I began to realize how often I told myself I couldn’t do things because I was afraid of failing and I realized that I was far more capable than I had ever given myself credit for. This fellowship has taught me that not trying at all is even worse than failure and that I can do anything that someone asks of me. It may not be perfect the first time, but trying and failing is often the best way to learn.

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