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Staff Spotlight: Deja Charles, Education Coordinator

We are excited to continue featuring our fantastic staff, students, and artists through our monthly spotlights. This month, in honor of Black History Month, we are featuring MAC Education Coordinator, Deja Charles.

1. When did you first realize you were an artist or wanted to be an artist?

I first realized that I was an artist after I taught my first art class. My students showed me that anyone can be an artist. You do not have to have fancy art training or education to create. Art is personal. It’s all about how each person sees the world through their own eyes and in their own way.

2. What does Black History Month mean to you?

When I think of Black History Month, I think of all of the black people who paved the way for me to be here today. Civil rights activists, educators, talented artists, the list goes on. I am thankful that there is one month dedicated to honoring the contributions that black people have made throughout American history. But truly, there are so many people from all backgrounds who have made a difference in American history. We should honor those who have made a difference in the world everyday, not in just one day or month. I can only hope that I can make those who came before me proud by striving to be the best version of myself and continuing to pave the way for future generations. Because I am more than just a black person. I am also Filipino. A woman. And most importantly, a human.

3. If you could learn any other arts medium, what would it be? Why?

I would love to learn about how to create ceramic art. It would be so fun and interesting to truly create something that was molded by my hands. And I enjoy getting my hands dirty.

4. What is your favorite part of your job as a teaching artist?

My favorite part about my job is enriching the lives of the youth in my community through art. I love seeing my students light up when they have made their own creations. You can feel their joy when they have learned something new.

5. What is the most important thing you would like your students to learn?

I want my students to learn that anything they create is just as good as anyone else’s art. Each person is so special, unique, and different in their own way and that shows through in their artwork.

6. Why do you think the arts are so important right now?

I feel that the arts should always be an important part of being human. Art has no language. There is something special about how art can connect and inspire people from all walks of life of any age. Art is therapeutic no matter if you are creating art or appreciating artwork.

Read Deja's Full bio and get in touch HERE


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