Performing Arts Abroad is thrilled to announce the hire of our newest team member, Christian Shiveley! Christian has just begun working out of the PAA headquarters in Northampton, Massachusetts and will be primarily responsible for advising those interested in our programs. He will also be helping with producing interesting and clear content related to our programming.
To get to know Christian a bit better, our Director Reynolds Whalen did a quick interview with him about his love of the arts and why he decided to join us. Spoiler alert: the man makes a mean crepe. Enjoy!
What is your performing arts background?
I play the Drums, the guitar, the bass guitar, and I used to play the trumpet. I’ve recently started playing with a friend I have collaborated with before for one off type shows. We call the band the Bumbling Woohas and the music is varied, but easily categorized as folk rock.
In high school I was active in theater. Our school had a yearly play competition in which each class would write and produce their own thirty-minute play.
Tell me more about your travel experience and how it’s contributed to who you are today.
I have traveled to the Caribbean many times since I was young. My step-mother is from a small Island in the Grenadines called Bequia. In college I made trips to the Dominican Republic and Haiti to work on film projects documenting the relationship between large resorts and local economies, as well as women’s rights in Port-Au-Prince.
I lived in Lyon, France for the second half of 2013. I went with my girlfriend and was forced to learn French upon arrival. I quickly learned that the best way is to get out and practice! After a month I was proficient enough to survive on my own. It’s an incredible feeling to connect with someone in another language and to finally feel at home in a strange place.
Why did you decide to join Performing Arts Abroad? What draws you to our mission?
I love travel and playing music. The fact that I can combine the two with my work is incredibly fulfilling. I wish I could have gone abroad to study music or volunteer teaching music, but I didn’t. Now, I can help people live their dream and discover the broad world that awaits.
Word on the street is that you used to operate a crepe food cart in Portland, Maine. What was that like?
I used to own a Crepe cart in Portland, Maine. In college I had the idea to own a food truck. After some time working and living at my parents, I decided to take a risk and move to Portland without a real plan. After meeting my girlfriend who showed me how to make crepes, we got the idea for the food cart. I built it from scratch and the rest was history! Sadly, I recently sold the cart, but you never know, I may again someday make food for the street!
If you could do any PAA program, which one would you choose and why?
I would do the BLAS Music Intensive. I have never been to Ireland and I have always wanted to go! I would also get to play guitar with other musicians and then go to the campus pub for a jam session every night! I can’t think of a better opportunity for a musician.