“A friend of mine once told me that the best way to get the ball rolling on anything these days is to send an email. Compose an email and be honest about what you want and/or need. Send it. Take it from there.

My journey to RISD began when I was laid off during the COVID-19 Quarantine. I had been working a desk job at an “essential business” but then they downsized and I was deemed non-essential within the organization. I’m almost 40 and a single mother to an almost 4 year old. After my initial reaction of panic and nausea, I realized that without a full time job dictating my daytime hours or the ability to go interviewing for a new one (due to a statewide stay at home order) I was free to not only work on my art, but to explore the possibilities of taking it to the next step and turning it into a career. Without the freedom of structured unemployment income combined with unstructured time at home, I doubt I would have had the courage to pursue a career in the arts again.

My very first phone conversation with Academic Advisor Kathleen Kelly set the tone. She made the previously intimidating idea of going back to school approachable by listening to me and breaking down her recommendations for entry rather than focusing on an endpoint. She also reminded me that there is flexibility in the course selection if it turns out that the material brings me in another direction than originally intended.

My goal is to refine my creative process through instruction and feedback to enable more definitive project completion in general. Starting in June, I’ll be working towards that goal by taking a RISD Summer Programs online class.”

—Julia Bevins Ross, RISD Summer Programs student

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