by katherine allen ’14
(Above) Katherine Allen ’14 (left) and Cristina Girod ’13 in front of a mural in Deep Ellum. (Below) A Coffee and Conversations attendee participates in an open art class hosted by Catalyst.
to a whole new level,” says Ann Bever, Branch Manager for the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library. “They are true Catalysts, sharing their passion, knowledge, skills, and energy to enrich our experiences with the community and create wonderfully unforgettable Coffee and Conversation programs. We are incredibly lucky and immensely grateful that
they reached out to us.” Although I’m now in Austin at The University of Texas, and Cristina is in Los Angeles at UCLA, we continue to work long distance on Catalyst. We are currently exploring a variety of different mural opportunities for the summer of 2015, and we recently added fellow alumna Angie Reisch ’14 to our team. To keep things moving forward, we talk on the phone, send photos back and forth of potential mural ideas, and look forward to our time back in Dallas. Until then, we are in the planning and fundraising phases of the mural project. Hopefully, this is the first of many successes for Catalyst, and what we say is “just the beginning” of our project’s goal to open the eyes of others to the beauty of art and its ability to transcend social boundaries.
The Catalyst logo incorporates a compass, which reflects that “in the populations we are currently serving, many people are lost,” says Cristina. “Some don't want to be found, and others don't know how to move forward. Catalyst is not the answer to their problems, but we are willing to be their compass and guide them to who they want to become.”
Katherine Allen currently attends the University of Texas at Austin as a Forty Acres Scholar majoring in Plan II Honors and Petroleum Engineering Honors. Cristina Girod is a sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she provides art therapy to those suffering from severe mental illness and homelessness with an organization called Creative Minds.
URSULINE ACADEMY OF DALLAS