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My Story - From a Founder of ARTICULATE

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

I never considered myself an artist although, from a young age, I was a prodigy in music and writing. I stifled my own creativity for years because I never felt supported in my creative endeavors nor did I believe in my talents.

ARTiculate was born after I spent an entire summer overseas performing music and poetry during my Yoga Teacher Training. I read my poem "March 29" about my father who passed away four years ago. The audience was moved to tears and, for the first time, I believed in the power of my voice. I was determined to create a space where others felt the same way. It all began on my campus at CUNY Brooklyn College as an art club and from there expanded into a community spanning all 5 boroughs and beyond.

My biggest challenge has been learning to balance my responsibilities and my personal relationships. I have a habit of getting in my own way by being too dependent on external validation. I had to learn that my worth is not what I do but who I am, inherently. I learned to BREATHE and not take everything so personal - good or bad. I had to fall back into a strict meditation and yoga practice in order to not allow my emotions to get the best of me in challenging times. Sometimes I neglect my own needs or creativity, but I learned that it is impossible to pour from an empty cup. If I don't make time for myself and my art, everything crumbles. I am grateful to be surrounded by people who inspire me and push me to be the best version of myself.

My vision for the #ARTarmy is for us to take over the world! I want to create a world of thriving artists where we all support and challenge each other and are able to do what we love without fear or external pressures stifling our creativity. I know that life is going to inevitably be full of challenges but access to basic human rights and resources should not be one of them. I want us to use our art as a form of activism and rebel against oppression.

My advice for anyone thinking of starting a similar go for it! You don't need any special resources to get started. My biggest obstacle throughout this entire journey has honestly been my own lack of confidence. If you have a powerful reason why you want to do it, that will carry you through the days you feel distracted or discouraged. Don't make the mistake I made feeling like everything important has been done before. Is there more space for healing in the world? Obviously there is room for you to help out. It's not a competition. There is room for all of us to thrive. If anyone is looking for a mentor or has any questions about starting out, please feel free to reach out to me personally.

-Anya Nova

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