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Lifting Our Voices …and Hearts

Jeanne Marie Hatch, SHCJ - March 5, 2018

 One cold evening last month there was a buzz around Rotwitt Theatre as many students, faculty, staff and guests gathered to hear an alumna of the School of Graduate Studies, Michelle Angela Ortiz, give an amazingly captivating, graphic presentation called “Lifting Our Voices.” The speaker shared specific stories of Philadelphia immigrant families through her ingenious use of what she calls Public Art. As a visual artist, skilled muralist, and a community arts educator, Ms. Ortiz uses her varied abilities to create representations from the immigrant people and communities she has gotten to know personally. Through mediums of painting, printmaking, and large community art projects Ms. Ortiz creates pieces from her conversations around the painful experiences of the immigrants and refugees. Her work tells the families’ difficult stories through which the people can “Lift their Voices” and feel that they have been heard. For over 18 years Ms. Ortiz has been active in using the arts to build bridges and communicate with various communities in the Philadelphia area and beyond. While enabling others to lift their voices, Michelle also lifts peoples’ hearts in the process. Much more on her web site: (Click Here)

Rosemont College was privileged, I believe, to hear the amazing work of Michelle Angela Ortiz, who embodies so graphically “what one woman can do” right here in our own city! Some students were very interested in ascertaining how to support the crucial endeavors of Michelle Angela Ortiz. Let us hope our motto, Actions Not Words, enables us to follow through on a great idea.  

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