Meet ELAN’s 2011/2012 Vice-Representative, Emily Dobkin

I was born in El Paso, Texas, raised in Simsbury, Connecticut, educated in Baltimore, Maryland, and now currently in Eugene, Oregon to further my education here at the University of Oregon studying Arts Administration with a focus in Community Arts.

It has always given me great joy knowing that I am able to positively influence someone’s life. I have taken various career paths which have directed me in knowing I would like to pursue a career working to administer Community Arts outreach programs.  From the time I was five years old answering the “what do you want to be when you grow up?” question, to writing my life goals for college applications, every career I’ve ever thought about has a common theme; I want to help others through some creative art form. In doing so, I aim to help others discover and strengthen a sense of self and their place in the world. In everything I do, my interest lies in exploring the introspective journey of a particular process; whereas some people imagine venture to outer space, I have intentions of taking people to their inner space.

From a young age, I immersed myself in all different forms of art—music, theater, dance, visual art, and creative writing. The skills I have developed from working within all the art forms has increased my confidence, knowledge, and compassion to be able to foster a sense of resiliency and self-confidence in others. I intend on forever doing just that, as well as enforce the intrinsic role that the arts play in educational programs, organizations, and communities, in addition to exploring different means of preserving cultures and identity through arts initiatives.

I received my Bachelors of Arts at Goucher College  (Baltimore, MD) in Creative Writing. During my time studying abroad in various countries, I resorted to using various art forms—everything from dance to drawing—to communicate and interact with different cultures.  In this way, I learned how the arts serve as a universal language. This has not only further produced an incessant travel bug, but also a want to preserve the melting pot of cultures found here in the United States using art as a vehicle to sustain and share cultural backgrounds and identities.

I entered this program wanting to be able to gain experience and learn the essential skills, methods, contexts, theories, and best practices for community arts program development, administration, and facilitation. What has been most beneficial is actually merging theory into practice; in just my first year, the AAD program has offered a range of experiences and opportunities that I look forward to sharing with you all. In my role as Vice Representative, I feel happy and honored to represent an incredible group of people and eagerly await collaborating with familiar faces and unfamiliar faces this upcoming academic year.

When I am not a slave to the books, you can find me behind a visual journal documenting my explorations and discoveries, practicing/teaching a vinyasa yoga flow, beading, conjuring up the most unusual cupcakes, organizing a dance flash mob, or simply frolicking outside.