Arts and Culture with Brianna

Segment #7 from University of Connecticut


Okay, everybody, we’re gonna head over to the Benton Museum of Art, which stages multiple exhibitions every year including student and faculty art. Brianna, a vocal performance major and first-generation college student, is gonna tell us how the arts made her feel right at home on campus. Brianna, you’re on.

Thanks Alex. So, here’s my story. As a first-generation student I wasn’t sure if UCONN was for me. The idea of higher education intimidated me and it was something my family just couldn’t understand at the time. I was worried that if I attended UCONN, I wouldn’t be able to find students like myself. When I first visited campus however, I stumbled across the Puerto Rican Latin American Cultural Center, also known as PRLACC, and the student support services, SSS, office – two places that would eventually become my home, besides the school of fine arts.

PRLACC is what led me to live in the Latinx learning community. I was able to connect with my culture, while appreciating the cultures of my peers. Student support services helped guide me through my first year on campus as a first generation student. This is where I met my closest friends and established professional networks. From that day, I knew UCONN was a school for me.

UCONN offers a wide variety of cultural and creative experiences for its students. As a student in the school of fine arts, I furthered my creativity and broaden my horizons. Harmony and ear-training classes have allowed me to mature as a musician. And instrumental technique classes have given me exposure to every instrument under the sun. My goal is to become a music educator, and I’m so grateful that my journey as a future teacher began in the school of fine arts. Through UCONN choirs, I’ve sung with local groups and choirs all over the world. Last semester, we collaborated with the Uni Zulu choir in South Africa and learned indigenous choral and south African dance.

If you love the arts, there’s something for you on campus. UCONN is home to 10 A cappella groups, over 15 dance groups and a plethora of annual performances. Our Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts and Connecticut Repertory Theater host many of these performances. From the A cappella rush concert, to plays and musicals, a mixture of students, broadway stars, and celebrities have graced our stages. Students also have free access to the William Benton Museum of Art and the Ballard Institute and Museum of puppetry. During my free time, I like to attend performances with my friends and browse the galleries on campus.

Attending UCONN has provided me with academic and creative opportunities. Not only have I been able to explore my passion for music but I’ve also taken advantage of the many co-curricular opportunities UCONN has to offer. With support from the women’s gender and sexuality studies department, I’m creating a documentary about housing insecurity and homelessness in college. Two issues I’m passionate about besides music. Exploring socioeconomic status is important to me and in the future, I hope to combine my passion for activism and art as I venture into the field of education. Back over to you, Alex

Thank you so much, Brianna. The way you establish yourself with the arts community and with the Puerto Rican and Latin American Cultural Center, really shows the diversity of opportunities and pursuits at UCONN. Getting to sing all over the world with UCONN choirs sounds like a dream come true. Great job, Brianna. 

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