Perpich News

Caitlin Knight (Theater 2002) Speaks to Students During Common Experience

Caitlin Knight (Theater 2002)

February 5, 2024

Perpich alum, Caitlin Knight (Theater 2002), spoke with students during Common Ex on Monday, February 5th. Common Ex is a series of presentations where students often hear about the artistic life from practicing artists, many of whom are Perpich graduates.

Caitlin Knight (they/them) is the Graduate Program Coordinator in the School of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota. After graduating from Perpich Arts High School, Knight attended Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now known as Randolph College) in Lynchburg, Virginia, and earned their B.A. in Classical Civilizations with a minor in Art History in 2006. Caitlin is a highly motivated, focused, and results-oriented administrator with a background in customer service. They use their arts education to bring creative problem solving, equity mindedness, and compassion to their student services position.

“I wanted to come talk about my career outside of the arts as the work I do is important, and is shaped by both my arts education and my time at Perpich,” said Knight. “It would have meant a lot to high-school-aged me to hear about a life that was full of art in ways that I wouldn’t have expected at the time. Arts education is not only about creating artists, it is about creating well-rounded individuals with enhanced cognitive, emotional, and social skills. My arts education assisted in the development of my emotional intelligence, creativity and innovation, communication skills, as well as teamwork and collaboration.”

Caitlin Knight (Theater 2002), spoke with students during Common Ex on Monday, February 5th.

Caitlin made connections to the work that they do as a Graduate Program Coordinator in relationship to the skills learned in arts education. “The curiosity that was encouraged by my education in the arts impacts the way that I acquire, process, and retain information, which allows me to be a policy expert, not only with the technical details of department and university policy but the ways in which that policy is applied. Exposure to the arts increased the cultures and perspectives that I was aware of which is one of the reasons why it is important to me that, as we admit an academically and culturally diverse cohort each year, we have policies in place to support them. This ends up looking like more support for all of our students.” An area of their job where Caitlin finds they use their arts education most is around the process of change. “Change is a process of vision, creativity, and collaboration, which in my opinion, is an artistic process. The process of change consists of the recognition of the need for change, acceptance and understanding that the change needs to happen, setting goals and objectives, planning and strategizing, communication, execution, and normalization.”

While Caitlin’s profession isn’t in the arts, art is still an important part of their life. “I am a consumer of the arts. I regularly attend exhibits at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, theatrical performances at both the Minnesota Fringe and Twin Cities Horror Festivals. I am also involved in the arts through volunteer work. In the past decade, I have gotten back into performance art through taking aerial classes. I fell in love with the physical challenge and how I was able to express myself through movement.”

“It is wonderful to have alumni return and share their experiences and journey with our current students,” said Rebecca Bullen, Arts High School Principal. “Caitlin brought insights into life beyond Perpich and a career that, despite being outside of the arts, they utilize their creative thinking and arts education learned skills.”