Northeastern alumna Angelica Hairston was recently recognized with a Governor’s Award for the Arts & Humanities, which honors individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the civic or cultural vitality of the state of Georgia. Angelica, who graduated from Northeastern with a Master of Science in Music Industry Leadership in 2016, is a harpist who is known for her fiery performances and her passion for social change. Angelica is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, and currently serves as Harp Teacher and Artistic Director of the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble, a nonprofit organization that provides free harp instruction to over 95 students in the city of Atlanta. She is also the Executive Director and Founder of Challenge the Stats, Inc.
“It is an incredible honor and a huge surprise to have been awarded one of the 2019 Governor’s Awards,” Angelica said. “Being a part of making Georgia more equitable through the tool of the arts has been core to my time with Challenge the Stats and the Urban Youth Harp Ensemble.”
At Northeastern, Angelica was the recipient of the 2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Graduate Fellowship, an award given to students who are committed to the principles of social justice espoused by Dr. King. As an MLK Fellow, Angelica focused her research on nonprofit organizations effectively serving communities of color.
“My time at Northeastern University was truly transformational,” added Angelica. “An enormous amount of gratitude goes to former Northeastern professor Margo Saulnier who welcomed me with open arms as a directed study student and walked alongside me to craft what is now a thriving and impactful organization. As one of the youngest recipients in the history of the Arts and Humanities Award, I’m reminded that you’re never too young to have a lifetime of meaningful impact.”
The annual Governor’s Awards for the Arts & Humanities are sponsored by Georgia Humanities, in partnership with the Office of the Governor and the Georgia Council for the Arts. More information about the awards and their history, as well as the full list of 2019 recipients, can be found here. Congratulations to Angelica and all the recipients of this year’s awards!