Resident Artist Helps Children In Newark Explore Theatre Arts
Theater artist, Kent Jackman points out that his passion for the arts can be traced to genetics, and in his early childhood experience drawing cartoon characters.
"I've always been an artist.It started for me, first as a child drawing cartoons. I'm sure it stems from my father's DNA. He was a draftsman early in his career and I was intrigued by paintings he created of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Woody Woodpecker," he said.
organizational partnerships including The Academy Street Firehouse.
"I had been spending a number of years working in Manhattan, but for the past few years now, I've begun to have more teaching and performing opportunities on this side of the Hudson. Since I reside in Jersey City this Newark based program has allowed me to work a bit closer to home," he said.
Jackman adheres to the notion the the arts play a significant role in the community as a channel for personal growth and enrichment.
A divorced father of a teen-age daughter, Jackman finds the experience to be both challenging and heart-warming, and one that appears to inform the work he does as a teaching artist.
When asked if there was anything in the news he wanted to comment on that might relate to his life, he recounted that the first call he received announcing Michael Jackson's death, came from his daughter
"During that phone call I shared how I had essentially grown up with the Jackson Five, and they had in many ways inspired my interest in pursuing the performing arts. The bottom line is, in theater, the concept of dramatic conflict is an essential component. There's no doubt that Michael's talent, work ethic, creative versatility, and global appeal will remain unmatched for many years to come --- there's also no doubt, as the inevitable posthumous scandals continue, that his was also a lifetime filled with extensive dramatic conflict, and hidden discomforts - a truly intriguing character study for any aspiring theater artist," he said.
He confesses he's not invovled in his local community as much as he would like to be as a result of his work schedule.But as a teacher and artist his idea of success boils down to being able to earn a living doing what he loves.
"Bringing joy, creative inspiration, empowerment and thought provoking content to an audience of others - through my classes, residencies, and performances," he said.
"The realities of this business, especially in our current financial environment, have made me a bit of a freelance gypsy in recent years - and I sincerely enjoy traveling as a form of education, entertainment, and alternative income," he said.
Jackman looks ahead to the future and plans to continue working on a one man show, "MaD from New Yawk!" he wrote and produced.
To learn more about Arts To Grow, visit: http://www.artstogrow.org
Watch Kent Jackman in action:
Tags: Jackie O'Neal , Theatre Arts , Arts To Grow , Jersey City , Newark , Howard University , Arena Stage
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