Story in the College of Arts & Sciences
Lecturer for the theater department pushes talented students to find the connection between art and spirituality.
Carolyn Silberman works with students every day to create artist-activists.
As co-director with Kristin Kusanovich of the Justice and Arts Initiative, an ongoing program unique to the Mission campus, Silberman helps students understand the relationship between arts and social justice.
More recently, Silberman has been one of the primary mentors of a program called "Charisma," a student-run production that showcases the collaborative artistic talents of students in music, dance, and spoken word. She encourages students to embark on a journey to self-discovery through art and spirituality.
""Charisma" is absolutely student driven," emphasizes Silberman. "The faculty wants to be here as guides for them, but we want to step back." It's working alongside these student-artists as mentors, and not as teachers, that sustains Silberman. "Their self-discovery helps me on my own self-discovery," she says. And she loves going on that journey with students at a university that espouses the Jesuit philosophy of the "three C's."
Here's how. "Competence is evident in that students must bring a level of competence in their art form. Conscience is a dive into oneself. It has to do with active listening to the voice within." And lastly, says Silberman, "Compassion moves one from empathy to activation; to a kind of loss of self to finding self within the collaborative framework of fellow artists."