ArtistCorps Alumni Stories: Moriah Hall

Moriah HallMoriah Hall served in ArtistCorps in the 2017-2018 year, and is currently working in the film industry in Los Angeles. 

What made you decide to serve in ArtistCorps?

I decided that I wanted to serve in ArtistCorps because a year prior to my service, my fellow RA Emani Barber (Music ‘17) was constantly telling me these amazing stories about his service. I couldn’t understand how he had the time to be a student and serve, but I could see the impact that he was making. I promised myself that if he could make the time to serve, so could I.

Tell us about a moment from your service that really stands out to you. 

My service focused on arts integration at Reynolds High School. We brought in a guest artist —Jennifer Mullins (D&P ‘18) to give the students a presentation about the world of wig making. The presentation was hands on, quirky, and the students ate it up. They wanted to know everything from “Where does wig hair come from” (they were grossed out by the answer!) to “How can I become a wig builder?” Seeing the students come to life at 9AM to learn about a profession that most of them didn’t know even existed was incredible.

How did that moment shape your perception of service?

Seeing that reaction from my students really taught me why arts integration is so important to have in public schools. It made me realize that I had the opportunity to expose students to jobs and fields of study that never were, and maybe never would be, on their radar without ArtistCorps. Many of my students lacked positive role models at home who could tell them that their artistic passions could translate into careers that they would love, and I’m proud of the fact that ArtistCorps is that cheerleader that will help inspire youth to follow their artistic dreams.

What was your biggest takeaway from serving in ArtistCorps?

My biggest take away from ArtistCorps is that as artist ourselves, it is critical that we give back to our community. I grew up in a small town where there was little exposure to the arts in the public school system. My parents took it upon themselves to make sure I was exposed to the arts and they encouraged my interest in film, but there are so many children out there who are not afforded the same opportunity. We all have an instructor who made a difference in our artistic career. We owe it to ourselves to pay it forward to the next generation of artists, and give back to the communities that we wish to inspire with our art. After all, our talents aren’t just for ourselves, they’re made to be shared and passed on!

How has ArtistCorps influenced your life and work since you left service?

The biggest influence that ArtistCorps has had on my career since I left service is the connections that I was able to make with fellow members. I still keep in touch with a number of them, and in doing so my network of like-minded peers has grown drastically. In an industry that tends to be self-centered, it’s a relief to have people around me who want to use their talents to bring art those around them instead of just themselves. Through this network I’ve learned of wonderful volunteer opportunities and am far more likely to make time for them then I would have in the past.

What are you up to now? 

I currently live in Los Angeles and work at a post-production company that does the editing for CNN documentary series. My passion lies in documentary work, and the job has been a wonderful experience to learn firsthand what goes into to making high quality non-narrative television.

What’s next for you?

Of course in the entertainment industry, you are sometimes limited in what you can say about projects, but I will be continuing to work in documentary with a team of incredibly talented women, and I look forward to sharing the project when it’s done! Also, recently, I’ve gotten into casting. I’m still working on documentaries, but casting has afforded me the opportunity to work with people, which is another passion of mine!

November 14, 2019