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Meet the 2018–2019 Creative Arts Student Team (CASTs)!

Published By Duke Arts / published on: May 8, 2019

Meet the undergrad Creative Arts Student Team (CAST) members of Duke Arts! CASTs fulfill a variety of roles, from offering tours of the Ruby to operating Duke Arts social media accounts. Applications for CASTs '19-20 are now open.

The Creative Arts Student Team members are an essential part of the Duke Arts family.

From offering tours of the Rubenstein Arts Center to assisting with Duke Entertainment, Media & Arts Network (DEMAN) programming, CASTs help cultivate a robust engagement with the undergraduate arts community.

Brendan Aronhime ’19
Role: DEMAN Program Assistant

I’m a senior who’s majoring in economics but passionate about film and tv. I’m President of the Duke Film Club and enjoy making my own short films and working on film sets with Freewater Productions. I play the cello in the Duke Symphony Orchestra, and in my free time I like watching movies and following Duke basketball. I’ve really enjoyed attending DEMAN in the past and wanted to get more involved with DEMAN and the arts at Duke, especially to help build connections between clubs I’m involved with and other arts organizations at Duke.

Brendan was part of the team behind DEMAN Arts & Media Weekend 2018

Adam Beskind ’19
Role: Ruby Ambassador

Image courtesy of Adam Beskind.

I am a rising senior studying Music (piano performance concentration) and Theater Studies. I’m heavily involved in Hoof ‘n’ Horn, Duke’s student-run musical theatre organization, and is the organization’s incoming president. Outside of the CAST program, I work at the University Box Office and have been involved in Me Too Monologues, the Duke Chorale, and Bass Connections. Spending the Fall 2018 semester on the Duke in New York: Arts & Media program affirmed my desire to pursue a career in music direction for musical theatre. This summer, I’ll will be working as Music Assistant for the Encores! Off-Center series at New York City Center. I’ve been able to take classes and participate in extracurricular activities that approach the arts from a wide variety of perspectives—creative, historical, theoretical, and administrative—leaving me feeling well-prepared for a career in the arts after graduation.

Adam led tours of the Ruby, took photos of DukeCreate Workshops, and developed content for Duke Arts

Steven Herrera ’21
Role: Ruby Ambassador

Guatemalan-born and NC-raised, I am interested in the intersections of technology and the humanities. I would like to be a data scientist when I graduate from Duke and help communities of marginalized identities. I joined Duke Arts because it is interdisciplinary and open to all majors, which allows me to explore the creative aspects of computer science and statistics.

Steven helped develop the first tour script for the Ruby, and assisted with DEMAN Arts & Media Weekend 2018

Adair Jones ’19
Role: Gallery and Arts Project Assistant

Adair Jones working on her project, Cyclic. Image by Robert Zimmerman.

I recently completed my senior thesis exhibition, which is on view in Gallery 235 at the Ruby. For that project, I created various living room furniture items out of recycled materials like grocery bags and electrical cord. As an artist, I am interested in installation art & ephemera; I joined Duke Arts because I wanted to cultivate this interest.

Adair was our hands-on gallery assistant, and a key part of designing the installation for In(visible) Organ

Sharon Kinsella ’20
Role: Ruby Ambassador

Image courtesy of Sharon Kinsella.

I love to sing, dance, read, write, and play sports. I want to pursue a career in arts administration and/or theater production as well as a professional musical theater acting career. I want to take part in cultivating a vibrant arts scene at Duke. I love the opportunity Duke Arts provides to be at the center of all of that.

Sharon helped develop the first tour script for the Ruby, promoted Ruby Fridays to student groups and on social media, and led regular tours

Eli Kline ’22
Role: DEMAN Program Assistant

Image courtesy of Eli Kline.

I am a freshman from Montclair, New Jersey but I now live in New York City. When I was applying to Duke, I went to a DEMAN Guac&Talk and it totally inspired me onto the path that I am on now. I am involved in the Pitchforks and Hoof’n’Horn, an a cappella group and the musical theater company at Duke, respectively. My mother is a writer and my father works for Showtime, so I have always been interested in a career in the arts, whether directly or through their business side.

Eli was part of the team behind DEMAN Arts & Media Weekend 2018

Annie Kornack ’20
Role: Content Creator

Image courtesy of Annie Kornack.

I grew up right outside of Boston and love everything New England — the Patriots, cold weather, the Cape. I’ve always had a passion for the arts and enjoy drawing, silkscreen printing, painting and sculpting. Majoring in Psychology with a Markets & Management Certificate, I hope to blend my interests of problem solving, understanding people and analyzing situations with my love of creative thinking. I think Duke Arts is such a strong community – where different groups from dance to music to visual arts often collaborate to create and inspire – and I knew I wanted to be part of that community while at Duke.

Annie pitched stories, completed interviews with artists across campus, and assisted with web design

Casey Pettiford ’20
Role: Social Media Ambassador

Image courtesy of Casey Pettiford.

I am a committed, creative, and conscious artist who loves telling and promoting diverse stories in various artistic spaces, including theater, poetry, and ministry. I enjoy digital marketing and business strategy and some of my favorite hubs for the arts include Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., and of course, Durham! I am majoring in International Comparative Studies because global perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the world are very important to me; I hope that one day my work will take me abroad!

Casey grew Mural Durham’s social media presence, and led a series of community artist takeovers on Artstigators

Omolola Sanusi ’21
Role: Social Media Ambassador

Image courtesy of Omolola Sanusi.

People call me Omo, but my real name is Omolola! I actually prefer my full name but no one can pronounce it. I like to paint on glass and sew flowers onto canvases, and I also write a lot. I wanted to get involved with the arts at Duke since there can be a tendency to be unidirectional and one-dimensional in your studies. I felt like I needed to work from within to really tease out all the interdisciplinary potential Duke has in the arts!

Omo assisted with social media strategy and production, as well as spearheading an Artstigators IG takeover series by local artists

Ilona Stanback ’19
Role: Content Creator

Ilona Stanback. Image courtesy of Duke Arts.

I grew up on a mountain outside of Asheville. We have sheep, cows, a donkey, and two dogs. I love the outdoors, photography, foreign languages, and my favorite animal is the kangaroo. I have always valued the arts and creative expression. When I got to Duke, I knew I wanted to get involved with the creative community. I liked that Duke Arts aspires to engage all students, even those who would not consider themselves to be artists. For me, being involved with Duke Arts gives me the opportunity to help other students share their talents and discover the many ways that creativity can be expressed.

Ilona pitched stories, completed interviews with artists across campus, and assisted with web design

Bianca Umeakuana ’20
Role: DEMAN Program Assistant

Image courtesy of Bianca Umeakuana.

I love film and television. One day I want to work at a television network or in production and focus on creating out more diverse narratives on screen! I’m passionate at making Duke Arts more diverse and helping it reach a broader range of students!

Bianca was part of the team behind DEMAN Arts & Media Weekend 2018

Rebekah Wellons ’19
Role: CAST Captain

Love Life performance: Susan Cooper
Rebekah Wellons as Susan Cooper. Photo by Robert Zimmerman.

I’m a senior from Southwestern Virginia with a passion for theater and music. My Duke experience has been defined by incredible professors, late-night Perkins sessions, hiking adventures, and impactful rehearsals with Hoof ‘n’ Horn and Rhythm & Blue. Once I graduate, I hope to find work in a creative field—whether performing, working in arts administration, or seeking opportunities in governmental arts advocacy. Duke is truly experiencing an arts renaissance right now and I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to learn about how to make the most of this momentum.

As CAST Captain, Rebekah helped manage the CAST team and also advised the Vice Provost for the Arts team on student engagement

Sheridan Wilbur ’19
Role: Social Media Ambassador

Image courtesy of Sheridan Wilbur.

I’m a senior at Duke and run on the cross country and track teams. I really like being outside and hate cold weather. I grew up on a farm with goats in Rhode Island and have a younger brother. I really like talking to strangers and listening to their stories and perspective and hope I can do some form of storytelling with my career. I wanted to connect with more people in the arts community at Duke and to engage in a community based project like Mural Durham.

Sheridan contributed to the Mural Durham online archive and completed interviews with artists

Hannah Yehudah ’18
Role: DEMAN Program Assistant

I’m a budding photographer and hope to work in editorial photography and videography after graduation. My dream job is becoming a music video director! I became a CAST to help raise awareness of arts based opportunities at Duke.

Hannah was part of the team behind DEMAN Arts & Media Weekend 2018