Across the Universe and My Desk
With Brenda Durant

Portrait of Karen Brown
Portrait Courtesy of Karen Brown

Augusta, Georgia can often have a small town feel. That ‘small world’ feel and the Universe can work serendipitously together in amazing ways. About six weeks ago, I received a call From Karen Brown, the prima ballerina who graduated from Aquinas and went on to an illustrious career in dance including a stint as lead ballerina with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. The call was to check if the Aquinas Class of ’73 was planning a 50-year reunion this summer. I tossed this request to my husband Ed, since he had attended Aquinas, graduating with Karen. (I don’t think he followed up but, that is another story.)


Fast forward to May. I received an email from the Museum of History covering events for June. The Museum is screening a film called “The Two Classes of 1968” the story of black students who attended Aquinas when Immaculate Conception High School closed unexpectedly. Reading on I noted the locals who were a part of the film, and none other than Karen Brown was a narrator. But…. there is more.

The Universe wasn’t finished with putting a lovely dose of Karen Brown into my life. Last week my phone rang and once again “Karen Brown” lit up my screen. Karen is programming her free summer arts camp at the Sand Hills Community Center and wanted to be sure we had the information to add it to our camp calendar. The calendar is chock-a-block full of opportunities for kids to explore various art forms this summer. Karen’s Sand Hills Summer Youth Program offers a variety of experiences for free, but there are also so many choices this year for kids.

I took a look at the week of June 13 and saw great options—Gertrude Herbert session one offers classes in Sculpture, 2D, mixed media, ceramics, painting and 3D design. Jessye Norman School of the Arts Free Summer STEAM Camp, an exciting Mural Camp for teens at the Morris Museum, Richmond County School System 2022 Fine Arts Summer Camp, Musical Theatre Workshops Summer Camp (each week a new theme), Augusta University Music Theatre Camp, J. A. M. P. Summer Session at Augusta Museum of History, Augusta Players “Building Character” Camp, and Colton Ballet Cinderella Camp. So, who is lounging around your house? The next Broadway Star, the next Van Gogh? Karen Brown, myself and the Universe say it’s time to get creative!