One of my favorite memories is how my family celebrated New Year’s when I was a child. My brother, sister, and I would be in an upstairs bedroom, watching the Dick Clark special (or whatever it was at that time), waiting for the ball to drop. Then the countdown…5…4…3…2…1…HAPPY NEW YEAR! At that moment, we would hear it. My mother and father coming up the stairs; mom beating on an old tin pot with a metal spoon and my father playing his trombone. It was so ridiculously loud, and crazy, and FUN.
My parents loved music. Mom played the piano but since she couldn’t drag that upstairs she used the pot. And my Dad always played his Trombone. After dinner, he would sit at the dining room table and write music.
I thank them every day for allowing me to grow up in an environment that encouraged artistic expression. Whatever that meant to me. Even if it meant I had to make music with a pot and a metal spoon. Make it mine and have fun doing it.
What is the foundation of your creative journey? Where has it led you?
Malary Lynn Harris
My love of the arts started at a very young age. My mother was very crafty and made it a point to be crafty with her four girls. We made all kinds of ornaments at Christmas time, we made banners to be displayed at church, we had tons of adventures exploring our retired farm and freedom to decorate our bedrooms however we wanted. I took full advantage of all! My love was encouraged and supported by my music and art teachers at school, a wonderful husband and wife team I’m still very close to today.
I left home to explore theater and design at Iowa state university. My experience there was amazing!
After college I moved to Chicago where I found my passion for teaching the arts. I started with a talent agency that lead coaching, acting, and motivational speaking all around the Mid-west.
New York was my next big adventure and where I really found myself, my passions and my place.
The past four years I’ve been working in the public schools facilitating workshops on acting, art, health and fitness, character development, and leadership.
This is where I met my Leadership friends and family. I started working with The Leadership Program over two years ago. Through this opportunity I’ve been able to explore more of my passions and focus and my career as an arts educator.
I’m also finding opportunities to still be performing. I’ve worked on short films and music videos, as a makeup artist, on hair ads and commercials. It’s been crazy and exciting! This excitement continues as I’m planning my DIY wedding for November 2014. It feels so great to be creating meaningful pieces that are so special to me and my fiancé. I see how my mother’s influences as I grew up translate to me forming this partnership and using art to celebrate that connection.
My truest passion is found in collaborating with other artists. I find I’m most motivated, engaged, and imaginative while working with creative minds.
Currently I’m acting as Site Coordinator at a high school in Queens. This has been beyond rewarding. It’s such a satisfying challenge. I’m able to collaborate, support, and create with fellow teaching artists every day.
My next project is with this high school. I’ll be leading a group of young ladies to produce a show they picked! It’s so inspiring to see their passion and energy to create and be creative. I’ve found that nothing in my career has made me happier than this.
I look forward to all my explorations through art as a performer, artist, crafter, teacher, and leader. This year is going to be epic!
Lots of love,
Malary Lynn Harris