Tag Archives: MimbolovePiVot
“Woman of the Week”
K A T H L E E N
C R O C E T T I
Community. That’s the word that stands out when talking with Kathleen Crocetti. In both her approach to projects and to everyday life, she builds and relies on her communities. She teaches, contributes, inspires, organizes, and has been a force of to be reckoned with in Santa Cruz for decades. For this and so much more, Kathleen is our Woman of the Week.
By day, this amazing woman teaches art at Mission Hill Middle School. She’s been teaching for 20 years, and earned the high honor of being California’s Art Teacher of the Year in 2011. She brings her passion for art and community building to the classroom every day, but beyond the subject matter, she wants to teach her students to persevere, to give their best effort, and to understand the value of collaboration. Her current and former students adore her, and it’s easy to see why. She’s involved. She cares. She sees potential and nurtures it, long after the student has left her classroom.
Kathleen’s work with fashionTEENS is a perfect example of her desire to help her students achieve great things and to reach a wider community. What began as a fashion show at Mission Hill – to a sold out, standing-room-only crowd every time – is now fashionTEENS, the annual event expanded to include teens from all over the county in a fashion show at the Civic Auditorium. Kathleen credits fashionTEENS’s success to the massive group of volunteers who help the 100+ students navigate the world of fashion design. This can include bringing supplies to a student’s home to help with sewing, offering feedback and guidance on the design process, or simply giving encouragement. The teens are in charge of their own pieces, but they have the support of a vast community of professionals.
Community mosaics are an integral part of Kathleen’s work. For each site, she listens to the desires of the neighborhood, and participants contribute as much or as little as they’d like: For the 1111 Soquel Avenue mural, all 3224 participants contributed a 6”x6” tile of their own design, and some chose to submit designs for the overall mural. The results are spectacular! It’s worth a visit in person…as her other projects, which you can see at www.kathleencrocetti.com. Her contributions and inspiration were recognized in 2011 when she won the Gail Rich award from the Santa Cruz Arts Council.
When I spoke with Kathleen, she was finishing a project for PiVot, the performance art show slated for December 4. She was also getting ready for the December 10 opening of the new Seacliff Village Park, for which she did the public artwork. This, in addition to teaching, mentoring, and several other concurrent projects. I asked how she manages her schedule and her answer is indicative of her approach to life: “I don’t do this alone.” She credits her husband, her collaborators, and her army of volunteers. Kathleen’s community, however, credits her. For all that she does for kids, teens, adults, and the global community, the dynamic Kathleen Crocetti is our Woman of the Week.
Thank you, Kathleen!
Photo: Joe MiKulsky, photo shopped by Linda Levi