The D.R.A.W. Welcomes a New Assistant Director: Lindsey Wolkowicz

Lara Giordano, Executive Director of The D.R.A.W., says “I met with Lindsey, thinking I was interviewing a potential teaching artist. I found that and more. Lindsey is an accomplished artist with a deep commitment to our mission. I saw in her someone who shared my passion for arts education as an essential pathway to self-discovery, critical thinking and emotional well-being for individuals. We also believe arts education provides a conduit to community building.”

Welcome Lindsey Wolkowicz, the new Assistant Director for The D.R.A.W.!

Here are her thoughts as she embarks on her new position:

“We moved to Kingston in 2017, after a decade in Brooklyn, and once I got my feet underneath me here, I started to explore ways of engaging with the arts in the area, seeking more and more ways to channel my energy, skills and resources into our community. When you are balancing an art practice, a 9 to 5, a family, a home, etc. you often look for windows that others have built and opened for you as ways to engage as you are able.

In 2020, however, while all of those daily demands have remained constant, there has been an added sense of urgency for me and, somehow, clarity of purpose that has come with the intensity of this time. The pandemic, in combination with a swelling activism around racial and economic justice in America, has reminded me we are the stewards of our own communities and that we are intrinsically reliant on our neighbors. It has also pushed me to consider how I want to share what I have to offer, who I am serving in my efforts, how I am considering equity in all of my choices and how to concentrate my energy towards an environment I can invest in long term. On one level, I have never been more exhausted than I have been during this year of multiple crises which I believe is a collective exhaustion. On another level, the heightened disparities and challenges of this moment have acted as a call to be more intentional in my choices, to channel my efforts towards service and to establish a deeper connection to my community.

Art is a tool that humanity has developed to understand its past, cope with its present and demand more of its future. It is a tool for survival and, as such, should be accessible to everyone – whether as appreciators, makers or learners. Art making and education, especially for youth, is deeply tied to mental and emotional health but also provides a way of making connections, a way of communicating your experience to others, and a way of literally making something new or beautiful by working through problems and times of uncertainty.

When I initially connected with The Department of Regional Art Workers (The D.R.A.W.), I was inquiring about how to get involved and to potentially teach a class or two. When I sat down (masked and socially distanced of course) with Lara Giordano, Executive Director of The D.R.A.W., I was struck by her vision, her passion for the community and her commitment to making art accessible to any of our neighbors who needed or wanted to engage with it. I feel that I have found in Lara someone to learn from, with a vision I feel excited to support, doing work in our community that I feel I can contribute to and be proud of.

I believe art is essential. I believe truth has been brought to bear in this unprecedented, challenging time and that art has played a role in the ability of many to get through the darkness of this time. I believe that ALL children should have access to art education as a core aspect of their growth as thinkers, learners and citizens but also that art exploration can be a healing or clarifying experience for people of all ages and abilities.

I am honored and excited to participate in the continued growth of The D.R.A.W.’s programming, partnerships, possibilities and outreach in the years ahead.”

Lindsey will work to expand high school-aged art and leadership programming, participate in grant writing and development initiatives, and assist with programming, marketing, education, exhibitions and more. She will help enhance The D.R.A.W.’s social media presence and website content and create a newsletter too.

Read Lindsey’s 2018 MAD Artist Interview for more about her work, her creative process and her perspectives on being an artist. And, feel free to visit her website or drop her a note