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SLU-Madrid Alumna Thrives as Arts Educator

As education coordinator for the Society for the Performing Arts in Houston, Claire Williamson (’15) manages a wide range of K-12 and public fine arts programs, including classroom workshops, professional development and master classes, as well as the organization’s volunteer program.  For the second year running, she is also serving as contributing editor for Trends: the Journal of the Texas Art Education Association.

Williamson leads group activity in art gallery.

Claire designs and leads family and community programs at the Blanton Museum of Art. She believes that her SLU-Madrid education prepared her to empathize with and advocate for the diverse populations she has encounters in this role. 

When she graduated from SLU-Madrid with a B.A. in communication and minors in art history and Spanish, Williamson knew she wanted to get involved in the art world but wasn’t quite sure where to start.

She returned to her home state in the United States and set about building relationships with museums and artists in Texas. These connections led her to the University of Texas at Austin, where she earned an M.A. in arts education, and to two fellowships: one at the Texas Cultural Trust overseeing fine art educator grant recipients and the other at the Blanton Museum of Art designing and leading family and community programs.

Williamson, who was originally drawn to SLU-Madrid because she knew she wanted to study abroad for as long as possible while earning her bachelor’s degree, commented that "taking on the responsibility of living and working in a foreign country at a young age has given [her] the self-confidence and drive to continue pushing [herself] academically and professionally.”

“The exposure to individuals from diverse backgrounds at SLU-Madrid also has trained me to listen to and empathize with a variety of perspectives and to advocate for serving diverse populations in my work today," Williamson added.