This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. For the complete interview, you can access here.
Kristine Dizon: Hello, my name is Kristine Dizon, and I'm the CEO and Founder of the Modern Artist Project. Today, I'm with Wanny Alvarez Angerer, a singer, cultural promoter, mother, women's rights activist, and world traveler. She is also an ambassador of expressive therapies and works as a change coach for the Global Leaders program. Wani is involved in many projects, including Moving Cultures, Cultural Stopovers, Music, and Dance Therapy, among countless others. She has traveled extensively across Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean, using arts and music to educate, unify, and bring about positive change across the globe. Thank you, Wanny, for joining us today.
Wanny Alvarez Angerer: Kristine, it is an honor to be with you in this exciting and enriching program. Thank you. I come from Bangkok.
KD: Yes, I know we were able to figure out a good time to meet.
KD: So, I know I talked about a lot of the things that you currently do. You're really busy with being around the entire world, and with all the projects that you have. But I would like to learn a little bit more about what led you to develop these projects, and what inspired you.
WA: Okay, this is a fantastic question. I come from Honduras, Central America, and I think everything starts with my parents and the way they raised us and the education they gave us. My siblings and I belong to a very small ethnic community called Garifuna, which is a combination of Caribbean and African cultures. It is a community that is recognized as a UNESCO heritage site for humanity because of its unique characteristics. The Garifuna were groomed in the Caribbean and then moved to Central America with no slavery background, which is exciting because they were fighters and carried a mixed culture of indigenous African and European. They still have their own language and traditions, and being a minority in Honduras, the Garifuna represent only 1-2% of the population. My parents were pioneers who represented the Garifuna community in a mixed-race society. My mother is a mathematician, and my father is a science teacher and a lawyer.
They understood the importance of promoting their culture and integrating people from non-Garifuna societies. They educated us to understand that being different is a good thing. The hard part was for them, as they had to open the way for us. My father was a cultural promoter and did a lot of work to make people aware of who they were. We were also educated in social communication, spirituality, education, and community service, and the center of it all was art. From an early age, we were involved in artistic projects such as attending music schools, art schools, and the scout movement. We were also involved in taekwondo and fitness. These were all activities that our parents believed were important, and we were also requested on the weekends to share our knowledge with our neighbors. We organized chess games and taught children what we had learned in the different schools we attended. I have been doing this since I was a little girl, and it has created a holistic way of living that is natural to me.
KD: That's amazing. And I think you know, being able to have parents that were so supportive and being able to give that to you and having you be able to share that with also with other people, I think that's really a wonderful thing. So, when you were in Honduras and you were learning about all these different ways of being able to connect with people, how did that inspire you to be able to help others?
WA: Yeah, as I mentioned to you, it's something that we've been doing since we were children and teenagers. We did a lot of community service at home, and this is when we started doing censuses in the neighborhood, trying to find out how the people's living situation was and what kind of things they required to have better living standards.
Working as a hosting coordinator for the A.F.S. Intercultural exchange programs also gave me the opportunity to understand how important it was to use your capacities to make the life of others better. I also worked with adult programs in the organization, like new programs they call it. They were very much oriented in community service.
So, I organized visits to the hospitals with the foreign students so they could invest quality time with the small kids and understand not only the cultural side of the country but also the social side of society in Honduras. In the '90s, in 1995, I came up with the idea to find an organization that's still very active now and well-established in Honduras in creating awareness about the work of women in the different sectors of society, especially art and culture.
And I think the moment that you understand that there is so much potential in yourself, and you do it in relation to the person that is next to you, there's not much fear or any kind of doubt that whatever you want to do is possible.
KD: Yeah. And I think these sound like really great projects, and also the idea of awareness in regards to the living situation, being able to reach out to communities that may feel overlooked, and making sure that people have a voice of being able to express themselves and being able to channel that energy too, you know, because a lot of times people, I feel sometimes just become negative if their situation isn't good for themselves. Being able to use music or use art in a way that does provide that type of social impact in those communities.
So, with your background with music, and because I see that you also do dance therapy and music therapy, how were you able to integrate all those aspects into the different projects that you do?
WA: Yeah, that's very easy, Kristine, because like I mentioned to you, for us, going to the dance school, music school, or art school, or joining different social movements is from childhood. Let us understand that is one, so you need all those elements. But usually, you do it in a very intuitive way, but I did it in a formal way because I was educated in all those different fields. This is like walking, you know, you learn to work with a lot of elements and skills that not everybody is aware of it. Everybody can dance, everybody can sing, everybody can be humble enough to support other people, but sometimes they have not been officially introduced to one of the ups and downs of that kind of activity, and in my case, they were done from childhood. So, I always knew that it was important that people can use their skills to be better.
You know, if you learn how to sing, you will understand the capacity of your voice, you will understand how you can communicate in a more assertive way. You can understand how powerful sound inside yourself, and transmitting that sound to other people. Yeah, and dancing, dancing is a way of making you feel yourself be free and communicating and understanding the space, you know, and the relation with other bodies.
It's about moving not because it's aesthetics but it's about enhancing. In my case, we learned that art was not an artificial element that is about fame and becoming popular and becoming mainstream. Of course, you can do that as well, but it's about having better fit positions in yourself, you know? It's like being stronger, understanding your body, understanding the capacities of your inner self and in that position. I was able to create or give advice in that sense, you know. Like I can see a person, and I can see all the potential in that person from the way the person is looking at me, for the way the person is sitting, for the way the person is communicating, you know, and then you can improve yourself and then you can help the other person to do better.
And that's the formula, observe, you know, and don't do it only because you want to make the other person feel better, observe because you want the other person to also observe herself or itself.
KD: No, and I think this is great advice too because, you know, the idea of just sometimes taking a step back, you know, being able to look inside ourselves and being able to observe not only what we experienced but also observe what we have internally to be able to offer to people. And I think that's a really beautiful thing that you're doing for others.
And I know a lot of my colleagues who had been in the Global Leaders program really enjoyed working with you because I always kept hearing your name. Could you elaborate more on your work with the Global Leaders program and how you took those experiences in being able to be a coach for potential leaders in our society?
WA: Yeah, fantastic, Kristine. As I mentioned to you, I was the hosting coordinator for the F.S. Intercultural Exchange Program, and one of my biggest roles was to be a counselor. Additionally, profiling was my biggest and strongest asset because selecting participants, placing them with another host family, selecting the community, school, counselors, and volunteers who would be dealing with them directly required a lot of understanding of human nature. I was a hosting coordinator for 14 years, and I was also an exchange student myself in the US during my teenage years. This experience gave me tools to understand how we can make relations more dynamic. By "dynamic," I mean that relations can vary in different levels of understanding and can move from one side to the next, from one person to another, and from one physical space to another. Doing this since 1987 professionally, being coached myself, and being trained by professionals in the US was a fantastic opportunity to keep growing in that level and then apply that knowledge to different social community projects.
I always worked with different artists, creative people, and regular people to understand their emotions and how whatever is going on in their head and physical body can affect their performance. This has been happening since 1987, and I had the opportunity to be the guest speaker for the foreign education abroad conference in Denver, Colorado in 2018. It was a very exciting opportunity to talk about moving cultures and how my projects and concepts about unity and diversity work. I had the opportunity to meet the partner of Raoul Berger who was participating in this event. I was talking to almost over 1,000 people and several universities in that forum. She approached me after I finished my opening speech and said, "You know what you're saying is something that is really very much connected with this organization, that is the Global Leaders program, and I think that I will try to introduce you to them, so to see if you can join and be part of their structure." This is how it all started, and from 2020, I was invited to join, and it's been an amazing journey, Kristine.
It's been putting together all those elements that I have been working with since 1997 and coming to this level with all of you who are professional artists and creatives from so many countries. This is very similar to what I have been doing my whole life, and it's very comforting. It's something that I've been doing, and it's become so normal that you don't understand the magnitude of the work that people are doing. Sometimes you forget to celebrate those achievements.
KD: Yes, and I know that sometimes when we think about the daily things that we do, we forget that we are touching people's lives and helping them find a path. I think that's a beautiful thing to share with people. Sometimes when we think about music or what you mentioned earlier, the idea of performing and fame, becoming well-known and things like that, those are nice things and all. It's not saying that it's a bad thing, but being able to realize the beauty of art, the beauty of music, and the actual power and agency it has in shaping lives in a positive way is even more important. I really love the fact that you've been able to do that with the different projects that you have created since 1987, right?
WA: Yeah, since 1987 Kristine, now that you mentioned it, it's also important to mention that understanding the different layers and levels of the way you do things is crucial. Sometimes, as human beings, we have this physical body and all this knowledge, but we don't know how to fragment each activity and part of ourselves.
That's why it's essential to keep your eyes open, as I said at the beginning. You need to understand the business side of your project, address your audience, the market inside it, and the delivery of your product. You need to know how to maintain and improve your product, which is yourself, and not forget that you represent it.
You know, talking about a person and their capacities, it also involves understanding the different aspects of ourselves and the human being. And that's reflected in the way we do things, the way we work, the way we communicate, the way we celebrate ourselves, and understanding the business side of whatever you do—the marketing side of it, you know, how to improve your delivery and improve your product.
I'm talking about four elements: business, marketing, the product in front, the people who see it, and the product yourself, how you see it. Yeah. Now that you work in those four aspects, and you put all those links together, you will understand that they're not separated. This is the holistic element that you hear all over all the time to be mentioned.
But sometimes when people hear holistic, it's only in yourself. They think it's about you are doing your meditation and your connection with your spirit. But holistic means to be completely aware of all your surroundings and work on all the elements involved in your surroundings. And this is why Ponchos, my project, that is those projects are really models, Kristine.
They only represent prototypes for people to understand. I created this collection of conscience with materials from all different countries. I live in, just for people to understand that you need to think about branding, that you need to think about distribution of the product, that you need to think about packaging, that you need to understand that marketing means that you need to go to different fairs and events.
You need to understand how you can sell your product globally, online, or locally. You know, and I create those ponchos. I sell them not because I make money, I make money creating awareness on people to do it, and they live out of it. I'm not the person who is an entrepreneur and lives out of that. Yeah, but I see that it's important to teach people how to do it.
And the only way you can teach them is by having tangible elements. The creative world is so much understood from ideas. You know, it's like even if you're a musician and people say, "I'm a musician," and the people say, "Okay, play for me," because you cannot let them know how you are a musician unless you play. That is different when you are a writer that also shows me your book. Yeah, or when they say, "I'm a doctor," the doctors and all these different kinds of professional careers that have been believed they have a better rating than others.
Sometimes people don't ask a doctor, "Can you do a surgery for me, or can you treat me?" You know, they don't ask you that. They just say, "Oh, are you a doctor?" And they get immediately the brain comes, "Wow." But if you're in the creative sector, they immediately say, "A musician, what do you do?" Do you see the difference? Right?
So, this is, and this is about allowing people, either from the regular career world or the creative sector, to understand that both sectors are connected. And of course, the doctor should also be surprised that we are musicians and that we are creative people because the patients will have a better quality of life being also more aware of the creative power that is not happening.
You know, sometimes doctors think that sitting with the patient and giving them medicines is enough. No, they need to understand how to label themselves as a person that is happy because they can move, they can breathe properly because singing also helps you have better breathing quality, you know, or dancing also gives you the opportunity to have a very quality of your physical stamina. And that's exactly what we do at Moving Cultures.
And I think that's the beauty of creating these projects and these models, to show that everything is interconnected, and that we can learn from each other regardless of our profession or background. By sharing our knowledge and experiences, we can all grow and improve together.
So, whether you're a doctor, a musician, an entrepreneur, or an artist, there's always something you can contribute to the world and to others. And that's what Moving Cultures is all about - bringing people together to share their unique perspectives and talents, and to create something beautiful and meaningful. So, let's continue to learn from each other and to celebrate the diversity and richness of human creativity!
KD: Yes, and I love the fact that you talk about so many different elements of this idea of art. You know, the fact that there's a part where we must be active in pursuing it, showing it, and sharing it with people. I also love the idea of a poncho, not just because ponchos are awesome, but because you're taking materials from different cultures that represent places you've been and showing how the poncho can carry that culture and be shared with others.
A lot of times people think they need to pay for ads or do other complicated things to showcase what they do, but even something as simple as wearing clothing representative of a culture or country can speak volumes. Personal branding is also important, and it's powerful to teach people that they can pursue meaningful careers that fulfill their needs as artists, musicians, actors, and more, while also sharing it with others and making a difference.
WA: Yeah, Kristine, and especially when you start to connect with these amazing people all over the world, you know, and with the ideas they have, the talents they have, and the work they're doing. I've been supporting organizations who work with kidney failure patients, I have been working with street kids' projects, I have been working with projects for women who are victims of violence. I have been working with so many different sectors and I get so impressed, Kristine. Most of the founders of these projects are women.
Yes, and especially when you start to connect with amazing people all over the world with their ideas, talents, and work. I've been supporting organizations that work with kidney failure pain, strict kids projects, projects for women who are victims of violence, and many others. I'm always impressed by the founders of these projects, most of whom happen to be women. They are resilient and powerful, starting these organizations with their own resources and for personal reasons, and then going on to touch the lives of hundreds and thousands of people.
This has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me, connecting with different settings and spaces, and then having the chance to introduce some of these projects to the creative sector world. We implement dancing, music therapy, and imagination to allow the mind to fly and dream, which is what the creative sector is all about. Society has always taught us to be the best, but in doing so, we become automatons, disconnected from pleasure. This is why we have so many problems with addictions and trauma because people forget to dream and act in ways that make them happy.
KD: Yes, and I think a lot of the power comes from being aware, observant, and understanding. When we think about the art we create, it's so much more than just becoming the best. It's not forgetting to dream. Small children dream all the time, and their vibrancy and joy are amazing. Sometimes people do things to please others, but that shouldn't be the primary objective. What do you think about that?
Yeah, they have these ideas, you know, and I sometimes look at them and say, "Wow, what vibrancy, what joy to dream!" But then sometimes, it's exactly what you've mentioned. You know, sometimes people do things as a means of pleasing others. Whereas it--yeah, you can do that, right? But that shouldn't be the primary objective. What do you think about that?
WA: Yeah, I think that this is a key topic, Kristine. And I think everything is related to this specific conversation we're having. When you're a child, you have parents who have come to life without any kind of skills to parenting, you know, so--and this is how generations start to only replicate what they learned from the previous one.
Yeah. And this is what the big difference exists between tribal communities and modern society. Because in tribal communities, and this is called communities, it's about all the people involved in their living space, you know, and this creates a lot of awareness. Because if you must be connected to the people in the community, you need to know about what's happening with your neighbor, you need to know what is happening in your own household. You need to understand what is happening with your environment. You need to understand what is happening with everything you need to be alive, addressing eating, cultural expressions, music. That's community. But in modern society, it has become so isolated, and it has become so repressed, that parents only transmit and transfer that information to their kids.
You know? And now, what we're doing is recovering the power of community, you know? And this is why you're also doing, you know, now that you're working with your project, and not only this one, because I know you also do a lot of things in different fields. It's that you're aware of your community. Yeah. And this is what we are all doing, letting people know, "Okay, just move out of your comfort zone. It's not everything that revolves around you, you know? Modern society has taught people and kids to be the center of the universe, and that's okay. But then when you grow, you are alone. And this is when all the dissatisfaction and, like I mentioned to you, all the addiction starts. And even being aware, parents and kids replicate what they see outside their home, you know? They will be behaving in a way society is asking them to be, and this is the mainstream.
And it's something that you cannot do anything about it. But at least you can equip people with some tools and skills that now they open their eyes, they will change. You need to walk your own path. You need to go through life and make mistakes and then say, "Well, now, let's try to rectify," because this is the way we become complete humans. And it's okay. But the situation starts to have an issue in life when you start to feel that you're failing others. And this is the problem, you know? That everything is done because you feel that you owe to your parents, you know? And everything is related to parents. All problems of people are related to their parents. Yes, or no?
KD: Well, I mean, I guess it depends on the parents.
WA: No, and it's not and it's not even depends on the parents, you know, it's like this is your origins, Whatever you do, it has an influence and the 1st 11 years of your life, if this is your parents or the people who are looking after you, because it's now it's a lot of kids who are raised by their grandparents because of the demands of the working world, you know, so it's like either their parents or their grandparents, you know, and their aspirations and their inspirations and their dreams are only a reflection of the people who have brought you to this world.
KD: Yes. I agree. And you know, you mentioned a lot about these ideas of inspiration, and you know, the idea of how we can use those things also with what you've mentioned in creating a community. And when we think about the community today, for example, with education, you know, with the digital world that we live in today, I mean, the possibilities I feel have been endless. With technology, the speed of technology allowing us to be able to share more in digital communities with technology in mind. How do you feel that's helped with the different projects, the different things that you've done throughout your career?
WA: Yeah, I think I've always been very much into technology. We would say "a lot of interest" before, because I was always very good at photography and keeping track of registers and archives of my activities - taking photographs, doing videos, and keeping that information to pass information to others. And this is what helped me when I created Mujeres en las Artest to have an archive, you know, of information about women in my country and Central America and other places. And then, of course, always telling the artists, "Do you have your photograph and your portfolio with photos?" And you find out that people don't have it, Kristine. Even today, talking about the digital world, you ask people if they're keeping track of their newspaper presentations, if they have all the information they get from their career, very few people have all those records properly filed.
Yeah, and then when...this is one of the first things I started to do with them, you know, file information, keep your records, you know, because being in that creative world, people want to see what you do, and they're not going to listen just because you say they want to see. Yeah, and this is when you come with the newspaper's text and you say, "Okay, this is what I've been doing. This is the people I've been working with." This is the only thing you need to have something that is not tangible, that is the product and the imagination, and then you need to have something that people can see and can touch, right? And this comes if you're a musician, you need to record. If you are a writer, you need to have books. If you're a painter, you need to have your art on display. Yeah, if you're whatever, you need to have the idea, and you must have the product, and when the digital world starts, we're talking about social media.
I joined Myspace in 2006. I was already living in India at the time, and you know, it's surprising, you know a lot of friends. I still have a lot of friends that we connected through Myspace that have become very close friends of mine, and I would say a dozen of them were still very, very close, and we keep tracking our careers and our lives, and then some of them reached out to me and worked with me through Myspace, and I got several contracts for festivals through Myspace. You know, they say, "We see you on Myspace, and we know that you're here. Would you like to participate in the biggest Himalayan Jazz Festival? This is the way they reached me, you know, through Myspace. Yeah. And why? Because of the content, again. So, you need to be careful and mindful about your content. Your content must tell a story about you, and this takes us back to the beginning of our conversation, Kristine. Your life must reflect your work. It should not be a contradiction, and then you don't need to be explaining yourself because people will know how you work because of your ideas. If you want to know how somebody thinks, look at what they're Googling, that's the answer.
KD: No. And I feel like, in a sense, you know, a lot of the time, at least within colleges, conservatories, universities (you can name them all in educational settings), and maybe I'm a little bit of a radical for bringing this up, but you know, being able to actually teach those skills also, you know, in those types of settings and being able to say, "Be mindful of the content that you post or create because the content you create is the image of what you're representing to people." And if you want to create connections and community, people want to connect with that image or that persona that you're creating. And I think, in a sense, for example, in universities or educational settings, they teach us the skills that we need, right, to read, to write, to be within the structure, but being able to take the knowledge and apply it in a real-life setting has been a struggle for a lot of university college programs. Being able to communicate, tell the story, show the value of what you have, what makes you relevant, and I think that's amazing that you do that. Being able to say, "It's not just about this idea of meditation, being able to observe inside, but being able to apply these very real concepts to being able to create a career that fulfills one's soul.
WA: Yeah, and you mentioned that everything lays on opportunity and knowledge, and not many people have opportunities, Kristine. And this also comes back to parenthood. You know, I'm telling you, I'm blessed that my parents come from a very, very creative and diverse sector, either from my mother and my father's side. Because like I said, my grandparents on my mother's side, my grandfather was a telegraphist, he was a photographer, he was a violin player. My grandmother was a household, but she was very understanding of the way she could raise kids with different skills and talents. And that helped her to be at the top of the game on the kind of education they would receive because one was a tailor, the other one was a nurse, the other one was a teacher. The other one was a musician. There were so many diverse roles for their kids, and that happened because the parents helped them to find the right career. And then on my father's side, my grandfather was an evangelist pastor, and my grandmother was a healer, and she was a person who was working in agriculture, understanding the value of the land and the value of spirituality from different perspectives.
Can you imagine an evangelist pastor and a healer? That doesn't sound very magical, you know? But this is what enriches your world, and we need to, if we have that opportunity, that is the message we need to deliver. And people start to say, "Oh, okay," and everything lays or turning the switch up, you know that switch has been down because you were not exposed to those opportunities. But if you find somebody who has and who tells you, "Can you remember how was it when you were a child? Can you remember what happened around you?" That sometimes we restrict only to our parents and then you start to say, "My auntie, my uncle, and that cousin. There was always somebody in the community, not only in the core nuclear family, who you saw was different," and then you say, "I want to be like that person," because everything has to do with role models.
KD: Yes, and I feel like those are important things to keep in mind. You know, it's this idea of being able to continually grow in different ways, even no matter what the background, the individual is. Being able to say, 'okay, well, this is what I'm exposed to, this is what is going to shape me, I'm going to take the things that work for me, I'm going to maybe disregard what may not work,' and that's okay. Because I feel like sometimes, within educational structures, we feel that we must model the best version of what that structure gives us. Whereas right now, you can be creative, being able to do multiple things, being able to reach out to different communities. And I feel like when you mentioned earlier, if you're a musician, you must record, if you're an actor, you must act. And the thing is, what's crazy is that with what we do at the Modern Artist Project is being able to provide tools. For example, how do you do, what is organic marketing? Why should I care about that? Well, when you think about it, it's about being able to reach out to different communities, which seems like what you've been doing this entire time.
WA: Yeah, Kristine. And I celebrate what your project is doing and the orientation and the reason why your project was born. It's to understand our power. And when you empower, it starts with you. And now that you feel that the things that you're doing make you happy, you want others to also feel happy. And to understand that there is no limit for expression. This is a very difficult moment in the conversation because pragmatic people don't relate to this. In academia, it's pragmatic. Academia is about delivering results and competition because you always must be the best. When we're talking about happiness, it's not about competition. And if you talk to a pragmatic and a very logical person about happiness, they don't see the value of it. It's funny because when you ask them if they love their family, if they love their pets, or if they love to eat, that is happiness. But they don't put it at the top of the list. What they put at the top of the list is their financial achievements or their material success.
KD: Yes, and it's not even just those things, but I also feel it's like, how do we define success?
WA: But in the actual society, and we're talking about mainstream society, they consider success to have money and to be famous. But in our world, I believe success is self-realization. The moment when you go to bed and say, 'Wow, that was a nice day. I met this person, and it made me happy, or I sang this song and I felt so good.' When you impact, the impact becomes the new currency. That's the truth.
KD: Yes, I agree with that. Because when you think about those things, I feel like those are things that people sometimes take for granted. Being able to have a good conversation, being able to share a moment, even being able to learn something new, and being able to take that and share it with other people. I feel like sometimes our society can really learn more from those types of things because if we were to say, 'okay, it's all about the money,' there's going to be a lot of miserable people out there, right?
WA: Yeah, Kristine. But it's a lot of people with a lot of money that they are not necessarily miserable, but it's the way they understand that's their comfort zone, you know? And if you move them from that space, they're miserable because that's what keeps them safe, you know? So, it's about understanding that there is so much broad world with people who have so many different friends, and that I'm happy to have in my circle people who are very rich, but I approach them to make them more aware that they can be more helpful by assisting others. You know, and I think that makes a difference. And I think we're going to resume this whole conversation on the network, you know? So, in network, is the key because it's fantastic to have a diverse world, you know, and that's the point. You need to have rich and wealthy people to allow different sectors to grow. Because where do you get the money from? Yeah. And I'm talking about myself working in fundraising, I work with wealthy sectors, you know, to get money to help projects. I need to perform and make people with money understand it's important to give some resources to this cause. Yeah. And if you only believe that you need to be in a homogenic world that doesn't allow you to grow if you're a musician, you and I will talk to you about the most successful people in this world. And I'm talking about successful people who have been intentional or who have created impact globally. You know, we're talking about Mother Teresa De Calcuta, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, all those names, and they have one thing in common - diversity.
WA: They work with everybody, and they invited everybody, and they were knocking the doors of everyone.
KD: Wow, wow, that I mean, this is true. And I feel like, in a sense, you know, with what you just mentioned, it's not just within the arts sector. I feel like this is something that can be applied to all industries.
WA: It's life, it's you. It's like, if I ask you, who do you hang around with every day, and who do you invite to your parties? You know, what is the look of the environment? Are we having this rainbow of people in the room, or are we having this homogenic sector of people, you know? It's like, including everyone with all their ideas, with all the capacities, with all their colors, you know, and that is like a garden, you know, where you have so many flowers with different colors and different types and different expressions. They all are good for different things, and it's like the organism, it's like your physical body that also exists because of so different elements, and I said we need to replicate this physical body in our outer world.
KD: No, I agree with you, and I think it's also something that there's not as much out there, or maybe there is, I just don't know of, being able to communicate those things in a clear way to young professionals. You know, the value, like being able to say, "This is the value of what I have, this is the value of my art, this is the value of who I am, this is what I have to offer." And being able to demonstrate that in a very clear and I think meaningful way, as you've done so well with all the different things. Being able to say, "I have to communicate with a particular group of people," being able to share with them the value, like why this is important. How is this going to help our society? Why should we care? You know, and being able to do those things and being able to make an impact in different ways. I think this is something that's really valuable for our listeners to hear.
Now, my question for you, Wanny, is like, you know, we've talked about so many different things. When we talk about this idea of community networking, personal branding, creating the best image of oneself, in regards to being able to make that impact now with the universities, with colleges, conservatories, and this is not just within the arts, it can be across industries. What advice would you give to young professionals who are about to enter the job market?
WA: I think the greatest advice is not to be afraid and wait, be patient because sometimes you finish university, and you finish your career, and you feel that everything is so difficult out there. You know that there are no opportunities, especially in the actual market world, and what you need to do is to process your capacities and trust yourself and be patient. Use all your talents to start small. It's good to start from the small door doing things that you like and be impactful. Start doing things for others and for yourself, and then you'll find out that what you need will come to you, and if it doesn't come, you need to create it.
KD: Yes, and I think that's something that's important too because sometimes people say or feel because I have this education, I'm going to get a job, it's going to be okay, right? But the thing is we also must be active agents and, you know, being able to do things, going back to what we talked about dreaming. If you have a dream and you have an image, it's not just about just getting this degree, this diploma, but being able to act upon it in a way with intention. I feel with care, with authenticity, and I think this has been great, Wanny. Thank you.
WA: And Kristine, the last advice I gave was that they need to be their own brand because jobs are now offered by scouting. So, there are a lot of professionals out there in the world checking profiles and how they give you a job. If we do it ourselves, like for example, you check me, I check you. Yeah. And what is your presentation card for your profile? It's what you are posting on Google, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. That is your presentation card, but if it's empty, there are no recommendations, no activity there. The scouts become a little bit doubtful. So, my advice is to keep a very active, meaningful, and clear presentation of your interests and your capacities in your life, and your life is represented in the digital world.
KD: Yes, no, this is amazing advice, Wanny. I thank you so much, and I think with that, we'll leave it on that note. And I want to thank you for joining us today and for sharing your experiences and thoughts with us. We look forward to seeing the amazing things that you continue to do for our community.
WA: Kristine, thank you so much, and please keep shining and making people understand how powerful they are. Thank you.
KD: Thank you.
Kristine Dizon is a multi-faceted performer, teacher, writer, author, linguist, and entrepreneur. She is Founder & CEO of the Music & Language Learning Center, The Modern Artist Project and co-founder of the Gran Canaria International Clarinet Festival and American Single Reed Summit. She is an artist for Uebel Clarinets and Silverstein Works. Learn more at www.kristinedizon.com.