Allison Fisher wasn’t always set on pursuing a career in the arts, but after taking the leap, she has never looked back.
Once bitten by the creative bug, a young Fisher began exploring her newfound passion. Whether she was getting her hands dirty for a pottery project or using colorful shards of glass to create a mosaic, the now 23-year-old felt at home when channeling her artistic side.
“The arts have always held a special place in my heart,” said Fisher, who resides in Pikesville.
Just months after receiving a duel bachelor’s degree in fine art and deaf studies, the former Towson University Tiger was back in the classroom. Except this time, she was the teacher.
Fisher, a second-year creative arts teacher at Ohr Chadash Academy, is confident that her class, which incorporates singing and sign language, will encourage students to ignite their inner creativity.
Her background in musical theater and involvement with the Jewish deaf community inspired her to incorporate these unique elements into her curriculum. In addition to singing upbeat tunes, students learn the signs for different art- related objects in the classroom.
The New Jersey-born educator also maintains a high level of Jewish involvement outside the walls of Ohr Chadash Academy. She serves as the teen arts director at the Jewish Community Center in Owings Mills and is active in Moishe House Without Walls.
What drew you to this profession?
I’ve always had a strong passion for the arts. When I was younger, I participated in different art classes, and I also did musical theater and started an a cappella group. I got more into fine arts in high school. But college was when I decided that this passion of mine was something I wanted to learn more about and teach to others.
What are you looking forward to this school year?
I’m excited to share creative expression with my students. At the beginning of each class, we do a movement mind foment, which includes different stretches to help them focus on having the right mindset before they make art. I’m intertwining a slew of different art forms this year. We’re going to do projects that involve material manipulation, collaborative structure building, mosaics, woven mobiles and more.
When did you start learning sign language?
I started signing in high school. It was something I was always interested in learning. I went to a class at a library near my home in New Jersey, and I taught myself quite a bit as well. I made sure to keep up with my signing in college. Getting involved in the Jewish deaf community was actually a significant part of my Jewish journey. I went to a Shabbaton at Towson University that exposed me to sign language, and that encouraged me to become involved.
How did the arts inspire your religious journey?
I grew up proud of my Jewish heritage and active in the Jewish community. When I got to Towson, I became really involved in Hillel and Chabad. Because it was such a warm and welcoming environment, I was able to freely explore my Judaism. Singing and Shabbat were and continue to be deep-rooted parts of my Jewish journey. I found myself connecting through Jewish song and its spirit. I went on Birthright and did a program in Tzfat called Livnot U’Lehibanot two summers ago. That was really the kickoff of my journey to become more religious.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Art is a huge part of my life inside and outside of work. I have my own art business called Woven Dreams. I crochet metal, make dream catcher necklaces and other things. I’ve also been learning how to play guitar, and that’s been adding to my musical and Jewish expression.