Hunter's Muse Scholars are proud to be part of one of the college's most exciting honors programs. Read below to hear what they have to say about their experiences in the program, as well as to read a message from Muse Scholar Program Director Dara Meyers-Kingsley.
Colleen Cash (Class of '15) has become something of a Muse spokeswoman at Hunter College, speaking during the Fall 2012 New Student Convocation (see photo, left) and the Fall 2012 orientation for incoming Muses.
Cash - who is majoring in both behavioral neurobiology and theatre - had encouraging words for the Muse Class of 2016, saying the group was lucky to be part of a program and college that celebrates the arts.
"Good Evening. My name is Colleen Cash, and I have the honor of being a Muse Scholar here at Hunter. Along with being a Muse Scholar, I am a student of the humanities, I am a pre-med student, and I am an actor. At Hunter, I can do it all. Now, I know that tonight we are here to celebrate the arts at Hunter, a most wonderful event, but as all artists know, no art has just one facet. I, instead, propose that tonight we celebrate the multifaceted beauty of the arts: a beauty that Hunter College has recognized and has held as its cornerstone as we progress into a new academic and artistic age. Read more here.
Music Major Juella Baltonado opened up about her experience in the Muse Scholar program during this interview.
"The scholarship allowed me to have courage in pursuing my passion in music. I was exposed to not only professional music performances such as concerts in Carnegie Hall, but several other fields of art as well. It revealed the inner workings about how art is produced and financed in the real world. On a social level, not only have I made connections to professional institutions, I've also made close friends easily," Baltonado said.
In her inaugural year (2011-2012) letter, Muse Scholar Program Director Dara Meyers-Kingsley wrote:
"The inaugural year of the Muse Scholar Program was an amazing experience for the 30 students chosen as Hunter's first Muse Scholars and for myself, their director, mentor and teacher. Commuting students from all five boroughs, Long Island and Westchester came together to study the arts and to bond during their year-long foundation course, Explorations in the Arts. We spent a lot of time together experiencing arts exhibitions and performances, and engaging in lively dialogue and creative endeavors both inside and outside the classroom. The Muses are a very committed group of academically-strong students whose interests and talents in the arts are diverse; but they share a passion for creative practice and a commitment to excelling at Hunter.
The Muses went to museums and galleries, to Carnegie Hall to hear one of the world's great symphony orchestras, and City Center for dance, many for the very first time. They got a behind-the-scenes tour and private drawing class with the director and curator of the Society of Illustrators along with a delicious lunch in the Society's historic dining room. They met other professionals working in the arts, too: the chief conservator at the Guggenheim Museum, the attorney for Alvin Ailey Dance, and the entrepreneur/musician who started Le Poisson Rouge in the Village.
These types of intimate and unique experiences, coupled with the Muses' larger exposure to the arts, are critical to helping these young scholars become lifelong lovers of the arts."