The Women in Arts Luncheon had a main goal to build a strong community of women at Piscataway High School.
“We wanted to create an opportunity for women to get together to celebrate our accomplishments and build a community to support each other and our future goals,” the K-12 Supervisor of Visual & Performing Arts, Rebekah Sterlacci said.
“Ms. Taylor, Ms. Suozzo, Ms. Amme, Ms. Lentini-Pombrio, Mr. Lee, and Mr. Yoson are the staff members [that] helped organize the luncheon,” Sterlacci said.
The luncheon was meant to encourage students to find people who share similar thoughts and hopes for the future.
“I wasn’t totally sure how the luncheon would go. I was so excited and moved to hear students open up, share, and provide support to each other. Many of the students hadn’t met before the luncheon, but as we shared, engaged in dialogue, and reflected. We became a community of women and artists. Over the past few days, students have commented on how powerful the experience was for them. We hope to continue this each year and maybe even tie it in to women’s history month next year,” Sterlacci exclaimed.
During the luncheon, students ate lunch, mingled with other students and teachers there, and talked about their future. Teachers shared their experiences and had an open dialogue with the students present. By sharing their experiences, the teachers were able to connect to their students even more.
“It was very important for me to speak! I have learned so much about myself as a woman, educator, and artist. I wanted to share my experiences with my students to encourage them to pursue their dreams, and to be the best versions of themselves,” choir director, Megan Suozzo said.
Other teachers feel the same way about the luncheon and its importance for students.
“I think it is imperative to have open dialogue about important topics. Having a support system and being with others who share the same passion as you is essential,” AP Art-2D, Photo Design I, Photo Design II teacher, Lisa Lentini-Pombrio said.
Students also gained more information and a sense of companionship from the Women in Arts luncheon.
“Well, I got to meet the two other visual arts teacher who shared a meaningful discussion about what being a woman means and how being an artist or a musician effects being a woman. I was able to talk to other students who I thought I knew or didn’t know at all and being able to see their impact on what art is to them and [what it means] to be an art major,” senior Julia Walker mentioned.
The luncheon also helped build students’ courage and go for things they may not have done before.
“It kinda just gave me more inspiration to go for it and do whatever I want [in the future], even if I don’t know what that is. I learned that there are some pretty amazing women in this school and there’s such a great support system there and that’s really something I value and appreciate,” sophomore Juliet Pastras said.
The luncheon overall was a momentous occasion for all the women in PHS that were a part of it, and it helped them build a community together.