November 27, 2018 at 3:50 pm

Happy Beginnings | Musick on Appalachia, Voinovich and Stuart’s Opera House

A smiling Chloe Musick with trees and path behind her

Chloe Musick

Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

By Richard Morris ’20

Chloe Musick ’17 is a native Appalachian through and through. She grew up in local Vinton County, and in the year since graduating from Ohio University she has dedicated her time to both studying the civic issues of the community and actively working toward its betterment.

An Arts & Sciences double major in Political Science and Sociology-Criminology, she currently works as a graduate assistant in economic development at the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs here at Ohio University, where she is working toward a master’s in public administration.

In addition, she is employed through AmeriCorps at Stuart’s Opera House in Nelsonville, Ohio, which is a nonprofit organization “dedicated to its role as a regional leader in the arts community, a center for public expression, and an economic development partner for Southeastern Ohio.”  She works in conjunction with the marketing director, Brian Koscho, on various projects to reach out and connect with the local community.

Her Ohio Experience

Musick’s years as an undergraduate were incredibly active and, as she describes it, “filled with milestones and discoveries.”  Along with her double major in political science and criminology, she earned a certificate from the Center for Law, Justice and Culture and was selected as a Jewell-Cutler Scholar.  Her extracurricular work was extensive as well: she was the Office Manager for OHIO Upward Bound and a University Hearing Board member.

Musick’s scholarly dedication at home did not prevent her from traveling abroad.  She spent a time in Cusco, Peru, working in a kindergarten classroom, and also worked for a peace-building NGO in Rahat, Israel.

A couple of faculty members stood out to Musick for the influence they had on her future academic and personal development. Dr. Barry Tadlock, Associate Professor of Political Science, taught a class called the Politics of Appalachia that “had a substantial impact” on her future academic interests. Her supervisor within the Upward Bound program was Garratt Weber, whom she describes as “a wonderful role model on how to make your voice heard as a professional woman in the workplace.”

Dedication to Appalachia

Though Musick’s undergraduate studies were strongly tied to the Appalachian region, she attributes much of her interest to growing up in local Vinton County. She describes the general Southeast Ohio area as a forgotten region, whose most ambitious students tend to seek out opportunities in more populated areas.

As the first member of her family to earn a college degree, Musick sought to buck that trend. She felt a deep civic responsibility to make a positive impact in a region where “access to healthy food and proper healthcare… is difficult or even nonexistent.”

Musick’s current academic and career pursuits relate directly to her desire to work within and improve the region. At Stuart’s Opera House, she plays an essential role in “enriching the lives” of Southeastern Ohioans through art and music, neither of which are widely accessible in the area. Her role as a graduate assistant within the Voinovich School directly relates to some of the community’s most pressing economic issues and disadvantages.

While Musick is highly dedicated to the Appalachian region, it is not her plan to remain in the area forever. Her plan is to remain for a few years and do her part to improve conditions, and then seek out new opportunities “because I am ready to see something new.”

What about Nelsonville?

Musick is directly involved in a number of coming events within the Nelsonville area. Stuart’s Opera House has a free Monthly Happy Hour on the last Wednesday of every month, and has a record sale scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 18.  There are frequent shows as well, which can be found by following Stuart’s Opera House on Facebook and Twitter.

Last, but certainly not least, Stuart’s Opera House hosts the annual Nelsonville Music Festival, which features “over 60 musical acts in four days on multiple stages along with on-site camping, artisan vendors, kids activities, food, a beer garden, and more.”  Next year’s festival will take place from June 6-9, and the proceeds not only support the festival but fund many of Stuart’s year-round events. Make sure to follow the Nelsonville Music Festival on Facebook and Twitter as well, so you can be the first to find out next year’s acclaimed acts.

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