Art As a Haven
Dawn Gadow, 22
Major: Communication Arts, Minor: Biblical and Theological Studies
Hometown: Hanover, Pennsylvania
Dawn Gadow never thought that a class project would turn into a full time job. But by mid spring of her senior year, she knew that her passions had met a great need in the launching of Cape Ann Art Haven, which was prompted by her advanced writing and public relations class.
For Gadow, an ’09 graduate and communication arts major from Hanover, Pennsylvania, the assignment was exciting as she knew that Art Haven was struggling in its beginning stages. The nonprofit in Gloucester, Massachusetts, an open-to-the-public art studio was founded by 19-year-old Gordon student David Brooks when he saw that funding in the Gloucester public school system had been cut and the art department had taken a hit.
“Dave worked tirelessly at his outside job to get the funding to open Art Haven, so I was thrilled to be getting classroom credit to help him with the launch,” said Gadow. “When I started, there was $300 dollars in the Art Haven bank account.”
Since then Gadow has been working full-time as executive director writing grants and budgets, working on long-term planning, doing media writing, ordering supplies and teaching classes when needed. “It’s exciting that I can say we now have $18,000 in our bank account, and Art Haven has become a creative outlet not just for children but teens, adults and families too.” Classes offered include pottery, printmaking and drawing.
“It’s so rewarding to see how excited the kids get about their projects. They’re discovering their own creativity,” said Gadow. “I’m glad we can be here to give them that outlet.”
Children, teens, adults and families at Art Haven aren’t the only ones trying something new. As a communication arts major, Gadow’s formal training was in journalism and feature writing, but in her work at Art Haven she sees a culmination of her liberal arts education.
“The rigor of classes and being thrown into so many new situations as a student at Gordon really prepared me for my job at Art Haven,” said Gadow. “Gordon gave me the confidence to feel like I could try new things and see how it goes.”
While Gadow plans to stay at Art Haven for at least another year, her experiences there have fueled her passion to pursue a master’s degree in nonprofit management in the near future.
—Natalie Ferjulian, 2011