Charis Carmichael Braun (’04)

Charis Carmichael Braun (2004)After graduating from Bethany in 2004, Charis went on to study at the New York Academy of Art. She currently works as a fine artist, graphic designer, and arts administrator.

WHAT YOU DO • • • I’m an artist and arts administrator. I always have multiple gears running (along with cups of caffeine). Currently, you can find me in my studio in addition to being the Director of Communications at The League Residency at Vyt (an international artist-in-residence program just north of New York City). I also hold leadership positions for two NYC non-profits: Spark and Echo Arts, and the Alumni Association of the New York Academy of Art, as well as contributing to the Artist Committee for I’ve taught art history at a local college in Jersey, and have managed art galleries in Manhattan.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU • • • “Don’t Quit.” (Prof. Bukowski) “Just Do It.” (Prof. Ouren) “It Must Mean Something.” (Prof. Overn) “Whatever you do, do it well.” (My Folks) While I was a student, I worked for Lois Jaeger in the YFAC. I was having a hard day, thinking about what kind of impact I could make with my chosen field and Lois reminded me that I was given abilities God had chosen specifically for me, and that I had been called to use them. Whenever I wonder if what I’ve chosen to do matters, I remember how what Lois said to me that day mattered so much.

HOW YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE • • • I’m thrilled about making connections between ideas, between people. I love sharing opportunities and knowledge to strengthen my peers and colleagues.

HOW BETHANY HAS PREPARED YOU • • • It wasn’t easy at first to see the deep impact Bethany has on its students, but I see it more clearly now as a professional. I’m able to think on my feet and communicate my ideas clearly. I can see different perspectives while managing diverse projects. I make intuitive connections based on my liberal arts education, am comfortable in my own skin, and confident in my abilities. The instructors, staff and community at Bethany modeled passionate excellence, what a gift!

WHAT YOU REMEMBER MOST • • • There is so much, so much I remember: auditioning for Theatre Physics, rapelling from the catwalks, theology and wit at the dinner table, tight-knit friends, Hippolytan sword-dancing, Gullixson Hall basement studios, wood-graining Pete-style, the World Sensorium, contra-color underpainting, trying to keep up with Bukowski on the New York Trip, learning how to fresco, bringing my bagels and juice into Monday morning “Art in the Dark.” Working at Schell’s Brewery, interning at the Brown County Historical Society for two years. Lutheran liturgy at its best with Marzolf, karaoke in the Viking Village, the Nordic Chandeliers of Death, chanting the Lord’s Prayer, photographing a good friend as she processed through Trinity Chapel to “O God, Beyond All Praising” to wed her best friend.

ADVICE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS • • • Get involved. Not only with the extra-curriculars, but with the whole human experience. Your main responsibility in college is to BE INTERESTED. Be passionate. Be curious – absorb more than you think you can. You’ll carry it all with you your whole life.

View Charis’ recent work on her artist blog.