Naphtali Leyland Fields
Artcorps Alumnae/us

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Naphtali completed her studies in Bilingual Theater, a degree that combines her passions for writing, theater and Hispanic language and culture. She particularly enjoys working with women and has carried out two extensive projects addressing femininity: one in Chile, the other in Chicago.

Whether teaching ESL or directing a play, her leadership style is participatory. Naphtali considers her role to be primarily that of facilitator, helping a group express its needs/thoughts/ideas and shape these into a cohesive whole. While supporting ArtCorps' partnersip with Servicio Jesuita para el Desarrollo and Oxfam America, Naphtali used theater-based education to promote dialogue and behavior change around women's rights and gender-based violence.   

She believes that through art we learn to see through the eyes of others and to express our own perspectives with self-respect and love. In particular, theater provides a safe space for both personal expression and community mobilization.

Personal Statement

I’ve grown up fishing on a remote island in Alaska every summer of my life. Physical labor and blue-collar workers are close to my heart. However, when I entered college, and subsequently the art world, I felt alienated from the people I grew up with. The art I learned in school does not attract people who work with their hands or who live in rural places.  ArtCorps excited me because it blends together the two things that I most love: rural communities and art for social change.

"I arrived lacking in so many aspects, but before the end of the three days, the harvest was abundance. The training has completely shaped and enriched me with a world of knowledge and creative skills that will not only be useful to my organization, but for the communities where we work. My sincere thanks and appreciation to the facilitators who, in just three days, were able transform me from a leader to a creative leader." - Dr. Felix Lawir, Director, Nature Care Cameroon

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