I’m excited to announce what has got to be the most unorthodox – not to mention international – slate of Createquity Fellows we’ve had yet. Between the two of them, Christy Fisher and Alicia Akins bring experience as programs director for an ethnology museum in Laos, extra on House of Cards, assistant to MIT electrical engineering professors, English teachers in Japan and China (respectively), and counsel to the Supreme Court of the tiny island republic of Palau. We can’t wait to see what their fresh perspectives will bring to our all-too-often-siloed arts policy discussions. Welcome, Alicia and Christy!
Alicia Akins works at the Traditional Arts and Ethnology Centre (TAEC), a private ethnology museum in Luang Prabang, Laos. As Programs Director, Alicia manages the museum’s school outreach, adult education, and advocacy programs. Since her arrival in 2012, Alicia has been actively involved in the regional culture and heritage sector. This past November, she was selected as the sole delegate from Laos to the World Culture Forum in Bali and attended the inaugural Asia Society Arts + Museum Summit in Hong Kong. Alicia’s interest in ethnic diversity first took her to China between 2005 and 2008. Alicia holds an M.A.I.S. in China Studies at the University of Washington – Seattle and a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers. She was a violist in the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, and since college she has also studied Punjabi folk dance, West African dance, lindy hop and the guzheng (a Chinese zither). Although she has studied eight languages, she has reached at least conversational proficiency in just five: Chinese (near native fluency), Japanese, Korean, Lao (professional working proficiency), and Thai. (This note about reaching conversational proficiency in “just” five languages is my second-favorite part of Alicia’s bio. My favorite part is that she listed “street battles” among her personal interests.)
Christy Fisher is proud to have had a career that stretches across three continents. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Georgia, Christy taught English in Japan for two years before returning to the U.S. to attend the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Shortly thereafter, Christy accepted a position with the U.S. Mission to the U.N. in Geneva, Switzerland, where she helped represent U.S. interests before the World Health Organization. She subsequently earned her J.D. at Georgetown University Law Center, where she was recognized as a Global Law Scholar, and served as Court Counsel to the Supreme Court of the Republic of Palau. Christy currently serves as a career law clerk to Judge John Eldridge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. She is a member of the Maryland, DC, and Palau Bar Associations and serves on the steering committee for the Maryland Chapter of the American Constitution Society. Despite her ostensibly non-arts background, Christy tells us that she has an undying love for musical theater and is proud to have played a Congressional aide in the Netflix series House of Cards.