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Sophomore Chrysanthemum Binayug’s Gala Remarks

Theater sophomore Chrysanthemum Binayug at Cornish Gala 2016. Photo: Michelle Smith-Lewis.

Sophomore Chrysanthemum Binayug’s Gala Remarks

"Cornish first came to me as a safe haven. A place and community where everyone come together for the purpose of self-discovery, accomplishment, and growth. In that building, not a single person was rooting for me to fail." - Theater sophomore Chrysanthemum Binayug

Theater sophomore Chrysanthemum Binayug addressed the Cornish 2016 Gala on October 29. Originally from the Philippines, she spoke about the opportunities that scholarships give students like her. Here are her full remarks:

 

A wise man has told me a lot of great advice at the Theater Department office. One piece of advice that still rings true to my artistic experience is this: "Chrysanthemum, If you're going to be an artist … you gotta learn how to ask for money"

I first came to Cornish carrying a lot of shame. I was ashamed of my background. It had been four years since I graduated high school, I was close to homelessness, I did not have a lot of support or stability, and I had no direction. I was ashamed of my background. I did not have the privilege in receiving traditional performance training, I felt insecure of my writing, and people often put me down when I lit up about my dreams.

Cornish first came to  me as a safe haven. A place and community where everyone come together for the purpose of self-discovery, accomplishment, and growth. In that building, not a single person was rooting for me to fail.

Cornish then came to  me as a challenge. Here was where I challenged myself to ask why it was all worth it. As a young female immigrant with barely any money, why would it be worth digging myself into debt. Why was it worth constantly stressing over paperwork, homework, and performance due dates.

Cornish's encouraging  environment, challenging curriculum, and prepared support system helped me in answering that question for myself. The harder I worked, the more I struggled, the more the value of my education became evident. Here was a place where self-doubt was not welcome. Here was a place where my original ideas were not only welcome, they were an important contribution. Here was a place where the concepts that my imagination conjured up could become a reality.

Before applying to Cornish College of the Arts, I imagined a concept of myself graduating with a real academic degree that honored my passions. The scholarship I received upon acceptance is the reason I am a real student today. A student with a chance to work hard and the right to pursue truth and beauty. What an enormous responsibility us artists have on our shoulders.

Thank you for being on our side. 

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Making a philanthropic gift of any size to Cornish signals a personal commitment to our mission, and to the students who work each day to find new and different ways to enrich the world in which we live. To learn more about how you can support students like Chrysanthemum, please contact advancement@cornish.edu or call 206-726-5064.