I think I was meant to find the Bolz Center. As I look back on the year I had and the time I spent I recognize that it was filled with challenges, but the most important challenge the Bolz Center provided me was growth.
I graduated from Carthage College in 2019 with a degree in Theater and a minor in Education. I thought I would instantly get a job in the theater industry and rise to become an artist. I happen to be an only child, that has a learning disability on top of it all. The great pressure I felt to succeed was overwhelming at times. I felt like a failure that my perfect plans of becoming this great artist did not work out as envisioned so neatly in my mind. Then, to hear that so many had done what I am doing, go back to school, was such a comfort.
We were so unbelievably lucky and honored to have the opportunity to speak with so many amazing guests that came to stop by our classrooms. They had wonderful intense conversations with us about their careers, companies/organizations, passions, and lives. All of these people work in relation to the arts in big and small ways wanting to make an active change in how art is taken in and perceived in our communities across the county and in some instances…world. The note that struck the biggest chord for me was how each of their paths was unique and “non-linear”. The emphasis on “non-linear” meant the universe to me. There is no wrong way.
I am now sitting here writing this blog post after I have graduated from the program in awe that I have made it, but knowing that I would. This year has been filled with hands-on work that was so a part of who we were as Bolz students it is hard to believe it is over. I had the opportunity to engage with many Madison-based organizations and work with my peers in creating real-world solutions. My teammate and I were non-voting members of the Madison Circus Space board where we created an Onboarding Handbook that will grow as they grow. A different set of teammates and myself worked as a consulting team for StartingBlock Madison to help improve their physical space. We provided detailed research and practical recommendations that we hope they will implement.
Being a Bolzie is a recognition that our lives have been swept up and spun around for the last 10 or so months. It has been filled with long days of classes and meetings and long nights of homework and studying. We have bonded for better or worse, but definitely for the better, over hysterical laughter and tears of exhaustion…And I would do it all again. I have so enjoyed the time I have spent at the Bolz Center, the friends I have made, and the memories I have created.