Christine Nolan Essig is a human rights advocate and social activist who helps create political change through social outreach events and public engagement. She is presently a volunteer for the Education Committee at Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts (WALA). She assists the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities which incorporates fundamental artistic and humanitarian initiatives into the objectives of the White House. Their most recent initiative, Turnaround Arts uses arts education to help further school reform.
Educational Reform: STEM To STEAM
Christine's most recent work has been aiding the first educational affiliate of Strathmore Hall, Young Artists of America, which mentors and trains children to be professional performing artists through social and political collaboration efforts. She worked as a teacher in Haiti at Hope On A String, a grass roots organization focused on achieving community-driven solutions for the country's development issues. During her time in Haiti, she educated members of the community by teaching English and assisting in creative collaboration efforts. Her current interest lies in merging the gap between the arts and sciences through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education and using design thinking to reshape higher education across the country.
Circles of Reflection
There is a quiet revolution happening right now in Haiti called, reflection circles. I was motivated to live in Haiti because of the opportunity to assist the nonprofit organization, Hope On A String. What drew me to this organization was their purposeful mission statement which aims to empower the Haitian community and build leadership through artistic expression. Before my work in Haiti, I had my first experience with a reflection circle in a drama class at NYU. At the end of class, I told my theatre professor how shocked I was at my ability to feel less inhibited during the exercises when in a circle. It turns out I was not the first to be excited about this form of sharing.