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Alumni Spotlight: Rachelle Shapiro

Amplifying the Voices of Artists

Interview with LAMusArt alumnus, Rachelle Shapiro

Interview: July 30, 2020

Written by: Adriana Ortega

“Initially, I was afraid [to participate in dance] but I learned it was about the experience.” Rachelle Shapiro was only in pre-school when she first joined the Los Angeles Music and Art School ballet classes, around the year 1994. During Shapiro’s time at LAMusArt, she attended several art classes, those of which included: recorder, harmonica, dance, and art.

Although time has passed since her years at LAMusArt, Shapiro’s enthusiasm for creativity has only enhanced. She currently works at her Global marketing position at Vans and is also a new Young Professionals Advisory Board Member and still very much a member of LAMusArt.

Shapiro continued in several classes in the arts throughout middle and high school. “When I was in middle school, I started to play the flute. I continued that in high school and joined the speech team and we did mini-performances within speech. In High School, I found a passion for music.”

“I work in global marketing for Vans Shoes and my role specifically right now focuses on product stories. As it relates to enabling creative expression. So, even though we might be telling a product story about a basic shoe, the way we tell that story is by highlighting a creative person and their personal story.” Although Shapiro is no longer involved in art forms such as music or dancing, her use of creativity is still very applicable to her field of work today. At times, her work in storytelling allows her to uplift voices whose stories often go untold. “It might be a story about breast cancer awareness, mental health. Those are the stories that I wish to work on more. I try to take on a role that speaks to real, relatable issues. Because everyone can be creative, and that’s a big part of what we try to communicate. It’s something we try to communicate in everything we do at Vans, but some of these stories don’t always get shared. Here, I get the chance to work on stories that uplift the community and social causes.”

Giving voices to stories of all kinds, and being able to tie it in with marketing and creativity, encompasses the skills learned in classes of creativity- they go beyond the art/music/dance/drama classroom. “I think it’s related to the way... the teachers made me feel...Since then, I have loved being surrounded by creative people. A lot of my friends are musicians or some sort of artist ... I never felt pressure. It gave me an appreciation for the arts.”

The Young Professionals Advisory Board is is a great opportunity for young professionals to use and grow their skills in support of multi-arts education for youth. Whether your expertise is in marketing, event planning, fundraising, volunteering or other areas, the possibilities are endless. Join us in our efforts to increase access to quality arts instruction for undeserved youth in the greater East Los Angeles area and engage with our surrounding communities.


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