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Welcome to our new Community Relations VISTA, Katie Grills

by Katie Grills, Community Relations VISTA

Happy Monday, Austin!

“Have you found yourself scratching your head yet? What’s happy about a Monday? I bet you thought The Bangles got it down pat when they immortalized the alliteration “Manic Monday,” and I’m also betting that you now have the lovely song stuck in your head. I digress.”

I’m Katie Grills, and I’m having a very happy Monday because today is my first day on duty as the new Community Relations VISTA for Theatre Action Project. Being a VISTA here is a culmination of a number of dreams and passions that I had, and I have a lot to be thankful for…because being here almost did not happen! I spent nearly a month and a half this summer applying with little zeal to other jobs that felt all wrong after spending a year as an AmeriCorps*State member—you name the position, I applied for it. After a few unsatisfying weeks of this search, I found myself turning back to the AmeriCorps world. As I scoured the AmeriCorps VISTA posting and found TAP’s job description, I knew that this would be the perfect position for me. My friends saw the spark in my eyes as I read about organizing volunteers and working towards the program’s mission, and they knew it would be perfect for me.

Before I moved to Austin, I was serving as a Bonner Scholar at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. I sought to incorporate my passion for the arts into my weekly service life. This manifested itself in a number of ways. I helped lead arts classes at More than Art, a program that helped those experiencing homelessness develop artistic skills, self-confidence, and equal community with others. I led service reflection groups that discussed the impact of public art pieces in Midtown Memphis. When I moved to Austin I found myself lacking these outlets, and I knew something was out-of-place. I have, however, found TAP, and find comfort in knowing that I will be reconnected to the mission of changing the lives of others for the better through the arts, even if I am not directly serving students.

Today I have a lot to be thankful for. I have the chance to serve my country another year. I have the chance to work directly with amazing people who share one of my deeply held passions. I have 364 more days to connect with new volunteers and other community partners, and to truly grow into the responsibilities and challenges of being a Community Relations VISTA. I get the chance to grow closer to Austin and all of its wonders, the greatest being its people.

Sure, this Monday might have been a touch manic, but I couldn’t be happier. If you’d like to make your Mondays (or just about any other day of the week) better by becoming a TAP volunteer, check out our website, fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you on how to get involved with us here at Theatre Action Project.

About creativeactionaustin

We are based in Austin, Texas and reach more than 16,000 young people every year through our unique blend of theatre and education programs.Our programs expose young people to critical social problems and offer opportunities for them to creatively think about how they can be a part of solutions to these problems. Creative Action is a unique blend of art and education – for us, the two are intertwined. We believe that using the arts as a teaching method provides a fun, engaging and inspiring way to learn – it incorporates the whole mind and body.

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