Photo Courtesy of Audrianna Bartholomew
Women’s contributions to the arts have only just recently been acknowledged more, as society begins to recognize the various forms of sexism and misogynistic views that women are subjected to while in this field. Millikin University has long been the hub of talented young people, using the performance learning model to harbor all these skills, one of these being junior BFA Musical Theatre student, Audrianna Bartholomew.
Audrianna, or Audri, was drawn to Millikin due to its proximity to her family, and the small school environment.
“It was close to my family which is very important to me,” she said. “Millikin classes also have a more hands-on experience due to smaller class sizes that allow students to forge personal relationships with professors and get to know most of the students on campus by name.”
Audri is especially close to her mother, who she cites as the strongest woman in her life.
“My mother has made a way for herself as an Armenian immigrant businesswoman. She is resilient, giving, and one of the most hard-working women I know; these are all attributes I aim to possess.”
With her demanding major, she is also President of the Tau Iota chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a member of the Black Student Union. She is also a cast member of the Millikin main stage production of Pete(Her) Pan premiering later this semester.
As mentioned before women have faced scrutiny in the arts field, but as Audri mentions the struggle for gender equality spreads among all fields.
“As a woman, it is often difficult to find your voice as an individual in spaces that are typically not occupied by us,” Bartholomew said. “It’s a constant battle of proving yourself as a worthy opponent without seeming too emotional or aggressive. It can be frustrating the double standards that are carried out with unequal pay and aspects of the patriarchal society that still plays a role in being a working woman.”
Despite the many disparities women may face in society and the workplace, Audri says her favorite part of being a woman, and women in general, are their resilience.
“Women are incredibly fearless,” she said. “No matter how many times we have been silenced or ‘put in our place’, we are always coming back stronger to prove our strength and adaptability. Women are loyal (sometimes to a fault) but we believe in the best of people. Generally, I feel so comfortable being in the midst of women because we all aim to empower and uplift each other. Women have this ability to put everyone at ease with their relatability, all while pushing all those around them to be their best.”