Catherine O'Brian, Arts in Education Coordinator
Since 1993, Catherine O'Brian has been the Arts in Education Coordinator for the State Arts Council. Her previous employment was at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Manchester where initiated and coordinated a poetry reading series and the Jazz in the Mills Concerts.
Previously, she was a program director for NH Girls Clubs, writing grants and designing year-round creative arts programs for low-income youth. While there, she won a national award for the building of a community playground with community youth and neighbors. She has done social work and outreach with low-income immigrants while working at the Latin American Cultural and Social Center and has taught English as a Second Language.
As Arts in Education Coordinator, Catherine has participated in the following:
- Amherst (MA) Writers and Artists Certificate Program in Teaching Creative Writing to UnderservedPopulations
- The Creative Center’s training in New York City for artists working in hospitals with cancer patients.
- Hospice training from Sunapee Visiting Nurses Association
- National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) State Partnership and Arts Education and Literature Programs Panels
- Committee to develop NH's State Curriculum Frameworks for the Arts
- Adjunct Faculty member of Plymouth State University's M.Ed. Programs in Integrated Arts
- NH Writers' Project board
- Oversight board for the Capital Region Community Prevention Coalition
In 1995, Catherine completed her MA in Writing, with a focus in Poetry, at UNH where she studied with Charles Simic and Mekeel McBride. She has received several awards for her poetry including, a Fellowship to write poetry at the Ragdale Artists Colony; a scholarship to write at the Vermont Studio Center; and the runner up prize of the Grolier Book Shop Poetry Award. Her manuscript for The White Nightgown was awarded the UNH Thomas Williams Graduate Poetry Award. Her poems have been published in the NH anthology Under the Legislature of Stars; Green Mountains Review; Chariton Review; Wisconsin Review; Off the Coast, and others. A chapbook of her poems, Lucky to be Born in a House of Milk, was published by Oyster River Press as part of the Walking to Windward Series in 2001.
She is a founding member and participant of Yogurt Poets, a community writing group which has been meeting for more than 20 years. Her personal interests include all the arts, especially children's literature and art; walking, swimming, jazz, dance, visual arts and travel. She feels very lucky, even blessed to be working and living the arts in NH.
Catherine is a mother and grandmother. She grew up in the Philippines but for over 30 years has made NH her home. She lives in North Sutton.