Cecilia Carabello Acevedo ’21 was recently named an Imagining America/Joy of Giving Something Fellow. The fellowship provides a scholarship, mentorship, financial support for a community arts projects, and support to attend the IA National Gathering in New Orleans.
The Visual & Media Arts major didn’t think she was “lucky” enough to be named a recipient of the very competitive fellowship.
“I hit the jackpot with it,” said Acevedo. “I still can’t believe it.”
Acevedo transferred from Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) and started matriculating at Emerson this past spring. While at BHCC, she worked with Professor Proshot Kalami, who recommended her for the fellowship. They worked together on a radio play adaptation of Greek tragedian Aeschylus’ The Persians, which was one of the three projects she submitted for her fellowship application. Acevedo was production manger, in charge of editing chorus voice, and worked on the promotional poster.
Kalami was effusive in her praise of Acevedo, saying the fellowship will help her fulfill her potential and get closer to her goals, and that’s why she persuaded her to apply.
“Sometimes you offer something to people. While you know this will be life changing, many may not see that for various reasons,” said Kalami. “Sometimes you offer something special to someone whom you know will run with it to get to the winning point. That’s Cecilia. This talented, hardworking, and motivated young lady has the will and the stamina to stay on the path and go forward.”
Acevedo also submitted two other projects for her application.
“I submitted a documentary about how immigrant parents in the U.S. talk about their homeland to their kids, and when the kids go back to their homeland, they are shocked. Everything they learned [from their parents] is stuck in time because the country continues to move on without them,” said Acevedo, 25, who moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic in 2010 for high school. She became an American citizen two years ago.
In a similar vein, she submitted a series of photographs she titled Ni de aqui, ni de allá (translated, it means Neither Here Nor There), taken in Annecy, France, while she was studying French on a scholarship.
“I’m Americanized, but I’m not fully American,” said Acevedo. “When I go back to the Dominican I’m not fully Dominican. It’s two worlds. And when I was in France I wasn’t from there. It’s trying to find myself in those places. I was neither here nor there.”
For her community arts project for the fellowship, she would like to make a documentary about Latina women in the field of cinema.
Acevedo quickly enjoyed her fellowship on her cohort’s first meeting on September 17. She looks forward to learning from them and their experiences like her time at Emerson.
“I’m a person who goes by what life gives to me in a sense, but I don’t go with the flow. I take advantage of every opportunity offered to me,” said Acevedo. “Especially at Emerson. I was excited to be around people who are excited and really into their field. Here I’m around a niche of people who are really passionate about film.”
The Imagining America consortium includes scholars, artists, designers, humanists, and organizers who work to imagine, study, and enact a “more just and liberatory ‘America’ and world,” according to the organization’s website.