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How will you “create your path” as an artist in the real-world? Learn from accomplished performing and visual arts alumni about their various career endeavors. Alumni - Caitlin McAvoy, Christopher Morales, and Mark Thress - will join us virtually via Zoom and students will gather in Duke Hall (room 1032) for a watch party (you can also join virtually via Zoom). Refreshments will be provided! Pre-registration on Handshake is encouraged, but not required. 

Date: Friday 2/4
Location: Duke Hall Room 1032 (or via zoom https://jmu-edu.zoom.us/j/88130300582)
Time: 3:30 - 5PM

Pre-registration on Handshake via this link is encouraged, but not required:

View this event on Handshake

CAITLIN MCAVOY is a 2015 musical theatre graduate of JMU. Notable achievements at Madison include her membership in the Honors College, a three-year internship with the Virginia Theatre Association, and the implementation of a dance therapy-inspired program for a girls’ orphanage in Romania as the first recipient of the Hillcrest Scholarship. After graduation, McAvoy performed in numerous regional productions. Favorite credits include Graziella in West Side Story and Miss Honey in Matilda. McAvoy made her film and television debut in 2020 and has since been featured on Hulu’s Dopesick and a national commercial for ESPN. She also directed her first film, “Libby,” which has won six national and international awards for “Best Documentary.” This Christmas, McAvoy will make her debut on the Hallmark Channel. She is most proud of the relationships she has developed since graduating from JMU; classmates have become castmates, and professors have become friends and lifelong mentors.

CHRISTOPHER JOHN MORALES is a footwear designer based in Boston, Massachusetts, originally from the Washington metropolitan area. In his senior year of high school, he had a grand epiphany… He loved playing sports and sketching sneakers—why not make it his career? He enrolled in community college and transferred to James Madison University, where he studied industrial and graphic design. A door was opened, and he fell in love with the design world and its endless applications. After an internship in New York City, his desire to emerge himself in fashion, music, and footwear was revitalized. Shortly after, he sold all his shoes, packed up his things, and moved to L.A. for the opportunity to design with The Shoe Surgeon, where he spent a year growing his footwear design knowledge and skills. He is now focused on becoming the best creative team member and human he can be at Reebok.

MARK THRESS, M.M., M.A., is an accomplished classical and commercial musician with a wide range of experiences that have shaped his development as a well-rounded artist, performer, and scholar. His background includes approximately 100 hours in voice therapy clinics and operating room observation. Thress’ clients have had noteworthy success both nationally and internationally, with 15+ million streams, collaborations with Grammy-winning producers, opening acts for artists such as Lady A and Amy Grant, sync deals for Amazon Prime Originals, and performances worldwide on national tours, Broadway, television, and cruise ships. As a professional vocalist, session singer and music director, Thress routinely collaborates in numerous crossover genres. More recently, Thress co-founded New Roots, an artist-first program serving developing female artists by providing a safe, supportive, and collaborative community in which they can launch their music careers more confidently. Thress currently teaches several courses at Belmont University in Nashville.

XAIVER WILLIAMS is a music education major with a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies at James Madison University. Born and raised in Hampton, Virginia, Williams graduated from Hampton High School with highest honors as an International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate. Williams is a student in the Trumpet Studio of Dr. Christopher Carrillo and has performed with the JMU Concert Band, Wind Symphony, Marching Royal Dukes and Pep Band. Focused on giving back to the community and advocating for equity in all areas of life, Williams was appointed by President Alger in 2020 to serve on the JMU Task Force on Racial Equity Awareness/Communication committee. In addition, Williams was elected by his peers to serve as the JMU Student Representative to the Board of Visitors in March of 2021. He aspires, after graduation in May 2023, to teach high school band and eventually serve as a high school principal.

Explore other events and programs of the Creative Careers Week below!

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