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From the HE[ART] of Nat Gutierrez ('22)

These first two months in the HE[ART]LAND Fellowship have been an excellent learning experience and have helped expand my artistic capabilities in such a short amount of time. I have enjoyed meeting and getting to work alongside the other Fellows while learning about public policy and how we can incorporate it more throughout Kansas City.

At the beginning of the HE[ART]LAND Fellowship I had little to no experience when it came to theater, poetry, improv, and many other forms of art the other Fellows are experienced in. As a musician, this experience has pushed me to perform in ways that are outside of my comfort zone, but also allowed me to learn more about various forms of art in an environment that feels safe enough to try new things.

Working with Marley and Wyatt, I’ve learned a lot about poetry through incorporating music into their pieces, which showed me how poetry can take place in any way, shape, or form. Getting to work on music with Jerry.C and Clotilda has been an amazing experience because we got to just sit down and pitch ideas and themes about what we wanted to create until we finished our song “Now Is Your Time."

Meeting weekly to create has been great because we've been able to put together a show that has a little bit of everything. It is powerful seeing music, poetry, sketch, commercials, and storytelling get produced and then developed week-after-week all while tying in awareness of homelessness and housing affordability. I am looking forward to deepening my knowledge in public policy and supporting different communities throughout Kansas City during the last few weeks of the Fellowship.

I’m thankful for this opportunity to expand personally, do something I’m passionate about, and build relationships with some of the most amazing people that won’t only last in this part of my life, but continue long into the future.

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