We had the good fortune of connecting with Wendy Ann Powell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Wendy Ann, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued an artistic career out of an abundant need to escape, keep myself sane, and search for a way to explore my mother’s mental illness. Growing up in a household with a mentally ill mother meant that I was subjected to constant trauma. My mother suffered from schizophrenia and from a very young age I had to navigate her illness and being homeless. Although my mother suffered from mental illness she was also very creative . She attended FIT ( Fashion Institute of Technology and instilled in me the the ability to survive under any circumstances. We didn’t have money so she would sew all of my clothes down to my undergarments. My mother never got to fully realize her dreams and her mental illness paralyzed . I knew that I had to fight against my own mental illness or I would never realize my own dreams . Through my dancing and theatre I work to unravel those dark spaces . I learn to be brave and to share with others.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I never thought I would dance. Growing up in Brownsville Brooklyn/ East New York and being homeless is not necessarily a recipe for success. It took me many years to gain my confidence . Some people find success at a young age. However I have found that as a mature adult and cancer survivor I am stronger than I have ever been. I danced through chemo therapy and went back to school to get my BA in Theatre and MSed in Educational Theatre from The City College of New York. I now work as a teaching artist and love the passion and knowledge that I pass on to my students. I have learned that you cannot listen to the whispers of others who have doubts for you and that you must make your own mistakes. Risk, vulnerability and remaining committed to the moment are so important. I know that at this point in my life my wings are just beginning to expand and age nor illness will stop me from evolving.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love walking so I think the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, any of the Parks like Prospect Park, Central Park or walking across the Brooklyn bridge would be ideal. I love spicy food so an Indian, Thai or Caribbean restaurant would be ideal. I really also enjoy going through the racks of vintage stores and finding great clothing! Watching a horror movie is must! The best way to do that is curled up in front of a TV with homemade popcorn watching Rosemarys Baby. I adore the clothing and furniture in that movie. There are also the concerts in the Park and movies in the Park. Bring a blanket a glass of wine and relax under the stars.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My mother Amelia Delphine Martin definitely deserves recognition as well as my husband Ed Powell. Zazel O’garra, Agoci Inc my children Iman and Jame Louis-Jeune ,and Lailah Powell.

Instagram: @wendypowell506

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wendy-ann-powell/

Facebook: wendypowell

Image Credits
Gustavo Monroy image ZCODP

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.