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Emily Main ′12

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Major: History

You hail from pretty far away. What made you come to Rhodes?
I applied for and received the CODA fellowship here–the Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts. You get a scholarship annually and do 10 hours of work a week towards promoting the arts in Memphis and helping with local Memphis projects. I visited Rhodes for a CODA interview and fell in love with the campus. The CODA fellows here were really welcoming and there were so many cool opportunities in Memphis through CODA. There are so many things going on in the Memphis art and music scenes.

You also do spring and summer music fellowships with Rhode’s Mike Curb Institute for Music. How are those?
Through Curb, I’m working at the Blues Foundation, a Memphis non-profit. It puts on two major events every year. One is the International Blues Challenge, the other is the Blues Music Award. My specific role right now is helping them in the process of getting ready for the Blues Music Awards. Over summer, I was hired by Curb to write the manual for how they put on the Blues Music Awards. So, I’m playing the researcher role as well, figuring it all out. I think that for me, through every single fellowship and project that I’ve worked on in the past three years, I’ve personally grown as an individual. I’ve also been able to connect with people I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. I think I’ve learned something from everyone I’ve had to interact with. I’ve learned skills, overcome fears, and now have a clearer idea of what I want to do with my life after I graduate. Through fellowships, I definitely have more confidence in what that will be, and the means to get there.

What’s it like to have those opportunities?
If I was home in Los Angeles, or New York City, I’d be fighting for the opportunities that I’ve had here. But here, it’s easy. Rhodes makes it really easy to find these experiences through programs like CODA and Curb. Rhodes works really hard to give you internships, to help you achieve what you want. If you want an internship, they’ll help you find one. That’s what is so great.

How does your History major tie in to your passion for music?
I love music history. The African American music class I took with Professor Bass was amazing. You learn that so much of why music changes is because of things that are changing in the world, changes in history. But also, Rhodes knows we came here for a liberal arts degree, that we’re interested in lots of different things. So what’s really awesome is that my History major didn’t exclude me from having music fellowships. I had just as many opportunities as any Music major.

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Ruth Souza October 12, 2011

Great to see you recognized for all the passion you pour into everything you do!