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Whitney Frazier

Local artists pose on top of one of the community murals that Whitney Frazier '07 spearheaded.

MA Community Arts

Class of 2007

from: Plano, Texas

I knew art could break down barriers and change lives. 

When Whitney Frazier '07 had arrived in Baltimore from her hometown of Plano, Texas, "I was in shock about what poverty meant and how it was affecting people," she said. She thought art could be used as a means for young people in the city to communicate about what they were going through. "I knew art could break down barriers and change lives," she said.

While working on her MA in Community Arts, Frazier completed her residency at Child First Authority, Inc., an organization that partners with 17 Baltimore City Public Schools to create after-school and daytime mentoring programs. Afterwards, Frazier was hired full time as the community arts coordinator, where she created arts and youth leadership programs, including Art Core, a program in which local artists teach art classes in the schools.

The change in the students who discovered an appreciation for art showed Frazier that her instincts about art's potential impact were correct. "Child First took it to the next level for me," she said, "showing that art can make tangible change for people."