For over 30 years, the arts have sustained Gloria Crist. The North Carolina native saw a full career working in award- winning theater, film, and television, even developing a one-woman show in Las Vegas that became stand-up comedian Don Rickles’ opening act. Along the way, she’s earned the 2012 Best in RI award for acting, graduated with an MA in Holistic Counseling and CAGS in Expressive and Creative Arts from Salve Regina, and holds certificates and memberships with several mental health associations.
Founder of THE CORE ORGANIZATION, Gloria is intimately familiar with the doors arts education opens. “I have always believed that the arts play a vital role in the well-being of children, adolescents, and young adults and created The CORE Org. to see that each and every young person has access to the creative and performing arts,” she says. The non- profit is led by professional teaching artists and attached to extended learning programming through school districts to also provide social emotional learning with a heart-centered approach.
The varied programming allows students to, for instance, see a PPAC performance for the first time through Go See a Show, or take Core Youth Theater classes in performing and applied technical arts to put on their own production. In its sixth year, Who Am I Anyway? is an arts integrated social emotional program for middle schoolers that works through topics like bullying, gender identity, depression, and more.
“My job is pure joy,” says Gloria. “At the very center of what we do, and why, is helping young people thrive and become more aware of who they are, to be kind and compassionate, and to know deep down how crucial a role the arts play in owning who they are.” Gloria remains active in the entertainment scene today and expresses herself with her blog, TraumaDramaMama. “I am most proud of being a mom to my daughter,” she says. “Everything after that is a bonus.”
156 Highland Road, Tiverton • 401-749-1203 • @glosoul and @thecoreorg