Continuing our Next Generation of Arts Intern Program, CVNC is happy to introduce our newest stable of interns to the CVNC family. After a long list of qualified applicants, we’ve happily seen interest from all across the state and from different voices. This will help both CVNC’s readership and coverage grow as well as give these gifted young writers the opportunity to develop their skills in arts criticism and journalism. Please help us welcome these outstanding young critics be sure to enjoy and respond to their reviews as we post on social media in the coming weeks and months.

Aneesah Abdur-Razzaq, attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as a senior, is pursuing a dual major in Bachelor of Arts for Drama and Dance Studies (anticipated May 2022). Aneesah has a diverse background in theatre and performance with appearances in productions like Akeelah and the Bee as Akeelah (NC Central University), Wine in the Wilderness as Cynthia (NCCU), Contribution as Katy Jones (NCCU), and Underground as Emala (NCCU). She is currently working toward expanding her experience in writing and directing while obtaining her undergraduate degree.

Tanner Benson is a graduate student at UNCW, working on his Master’s in Critical Film Studies, where he specializes in Latin American film and “Slow Cinema.” Originally from Utah, Tanner grew up going to the theater as a fan, as well as performing in plays and musical groups. He believes that the arts have a way of making life more vibrant and colorful, and is grateful to be immersed in the unique cultural landscape of North Carolina.

Josh Bottoms has spent most of his life in the mountainous deserts of Nevada. A clarinet player for 12 years, he is an avid music educator and has performed extensively with collegiate wind ensembles, orchestras, and chamber groups. In his free time, Josh is a fervent baker, dedicated gardener, and an adventurous outdoorsman. Josh earned a Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Nevada, Reno and is currently working on a Master of Music in Clarinet Performance at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. 

Kelsey Carlisle is an undergraduate Piano Performance major at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He is also an award-winning pianist and avid performer of classical, blues, and jazz music. His blues work has allowed him to perform and learn alongside award-winning musicians like Bob Margolin, Victor Wainwright, and Christone Ingram, and he has been praised for his authentic, intricate, loving, and exciting interpretations of 20th-century American music. Kelsey also enjoys teaching piano and jazz studies at the Maurice Duruflé Academy of Music in Winston-Salem.

Lakota Craft is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and is pursuing a double major in Mass Communications: Broadcasting and in English: Professional Writing with minors in Media Integration and Creative Writing. Since January 2021, she has worked for The Pine Needle Newspaper and UNC Pembroke as a reporter. She has also served as a tutor in the Writing Center at the university. Lakota interned with Native Visions Magazine. During her time at UNCP, Lakota has learned how to use language to write for many genres including creative fiction, poetry, academia, news articles, feature stories, and academic grants.

Abigail Elise Domorod is a senior pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a minor in Creative Writing. Currently, she is a part of the International Music Fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota, where she formerly served as editor. She also served on the National Association for Music Education Collegiate Chapter, and on the UNCG board as Choral Music Education Representative. Abigail is a classically trained soprano, performing at the college in such productions as Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel and Verdi’s Falstaff. Outside of singing, she can be found conducting and playing numerous instruments including the organ and electric guitar. She also has a love for Disney and works as a Professional Disney Princess in the Triad area. Abigail plans to further her studies in graduate school for musicology where she one day plans to become a university professor.

Emmeline MacMillan is a violinist from Florida currently based in Greensboro, NC. Pursuing a performance certificate at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, Emmeline holds both a Bachelor’s and Masters of Music in violin performance from the Florida State University College of Music. Having played violin since she was six, she is an avid supporter of both classical and non-classical performance endeavors and has had professional experience playing in multiple regional orchestras and local theatre productions. MacMillan also received a minor in English during her undergraduate studies at FSU and has a passion for literature and linguistics. When she isn’t pursuing musical or literary activities, Emmeline enjoys sipping on craft beer with friends and lounging around with her beloved cat, Percy.

Michelle Medina is a junior Musical Theatre and Music Education major at Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina. She has worked with theatres in the Charlotte and Triad areas, such as Lee Street Theatre and the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte. She hopes to pursue graduate school upon completing her bachelor’s degree in order to learn more about academic theatre from an educator’s perspective. Michelle is excited to start her internship for CVNC and see more of the arts and culture in North Carolina. 

Samantha Oleschuk is an undergraduate student in the Honors College at Appalachian State University with a passion for art, business, writing, and museum studies. She is studying Art and Visual Culture with a concentration in Art Management and minors in Nonprofit Organizations and French and Francophone Studies. In addition to being a CVNC intern, Samantha works as the Art Collections Manager in Plemmons Student Union on ASU’s campus and volunteers with arts organizations in Boone and the Raleigh-Durham area. After completing her undergraduate degree, Samantha plans to continue her academic work in Museum Studies and/or Art Administration at the graduate level and establish a career in an art museum or nonprofit arts organization. When she isn’t pursuing academic or art-based activities, Samantha enjoys reading, hiking, and relaxing with a cup of tea.

Christian T. Roberts is a Senior at Appalachian State University pursuing a BFA in Studio Art with a focus in ceramics, double majoring in English with a focus in creative writing, and a minor in Anthropology.  He has a background of nine years of dance and two in theatre. Initially pursuing Anthropology at UNCG he felt lost and disconnected from the artistic world. He then decided to drop his major to a minor and added Studio Art as his major. Christian found love in the realm of three-dimensional arts and took to ceramics. After transferring to App State he still felt unable to fully express himself, thus adding the pursuit of English. He now happily works as a Studio Monitor for the App State ceramic department for two years and during the summers he works as a Tree Climber for Starnes Tree Service. 

Kristin Sands grew up in Westfield, NC, just outside of Winston Salem. She is currently in her senior year at Salem College, majoring in music with a concentration in alto saxophone. Kristin participates in the Wake Forest University’s marching band, The Spirit of the Old Gold and Black, where she marches tenor saxophone and works under direction of Dr. Tim Heath. Kristin also had the opportunity to sing in the Salem College Choir for her first two years of college. She is part of a small acting troupe based out of Mount Airy, NC, called The Nonesuch Playmakers. She has performed in over twenty shows with them and even took on the role of Assistant Director for some of their community theatre workshops. Kristin plans to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the spring of 2022.

Danielle Schroeder is a college senior obtaining her bachelor’s degree in music performance at Montreat College with piano as her primary instrument. She has performed in numerous soloist opportunities, including as the featured soloist in Ellen Taffe Zwilch’s Peanuts Gallery, performed by the Montreat College Chamber Orchestra. Danielle hopes to attend graduate school in her pursuit of becoming a musicologist, with a specialized interest in Appalachian music. She is passionate about introducing classical music to peers within her generation and believes that everyone can and should enjoy all that the classical world has to offer. 

Kira Silvia is a third year student at UNC Asheville. She is enrolled as an art major with a concentration in printmaking. Art has been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. As a child she even remembers trying to use the watercolors that came with my coloring books to follow along to Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting when it came on PBS. Of course she feels it is only fitting that as an adult she’s able to write for CVNC and she’s happy to be here.

Chloe White is studying jazz saxophone at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She works for college radio 103.1, loves playing at sessions as well as resting with her elderly dog Fifi. Chloe grew up in Western North Carolina and aspires to do field research in rural communities as well as bring her horn to fiddle jams.