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The Fishbowl Collective

On a bitterly cold night in December in New York City, more than 75 Muhlenberg alumni who are members of the Henry Melchior Muhlenberg Society (HMMS) gathered for an evening at the Cornell Club. It didn’t take long for things to warm up as members of the Muhlenberg community arrived and began mingling. Introductions were made, good food and drink were provided and friends reconnected with each other.

The program for the evening included welcoming remarks by Rebekkah Brown ’99, Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations, and a State of the College report by Chairman of the Board Rich Christ ’77, P’05, P’09, who served as the evening’s host. But things really started heating up when members of The Fishbowl Collective took the stage.

The Fishbowl Collective was founded by a group of Muhlenberg College graduates in 2012 and since its inception has grown from 20 members to over 400. The Collective is “a network of New York City-based performance artists and entertainment industry professionals whose mission is to create, connect and build a safe and positive environment in which members can share their visions and take artistic risks.”

“The Fishbowl Collective has recreated the support Muhlenberg offered these alumni as students. With a common language and base of experiences the members have a safe community to grow, motivate and inspire one another to pursue their artistic dreams,” says Heather Lavin ’08, Associate Director of Alumni Relations and alumna of the dance program.

Jenn Haltman ’04 directed the evening’s performance. Members of the company included Kennedy Kanagawa ’08, Dan Cary ’08, Jerzy Jung ’04, Brigitte Choura ’07, Adam Kemmerer ’02, Sarah Hutchison ’04 and Becca Schneider ’06. The artists wowed the audience with vocal performances from a number of musicals including the off-Broadway production of Next Thing You Know with music written by Josh Salzman ’02.

In addition to entertaining, the artists – all Muhlenberg graduates living and working in New York – shared their own personal stories of the impact their Muhlenberg education has had on their lives and careers. One of their stated goals for The Fishbowl Collective is to “make the consciousness, clarity, and vision gained at Muhlenberg a more profound part of our future work.”

Faculty members Charles Richter, Jim Peck and Karen Dearborn were among a group that traveled to the city from the College for the evening. “I was torn between watching the artists perform and observing the faculty members view these amazing individuals who had been their students,” said Natalie Hand '78, P'07, Director of Alumni Relations. “Let’s just say that there was not a dry eye in the room when they were finished. I could not have been more impressed by the caliber of their work or more proud to be a Muhlenberg alumna.”

Click here for more information about The Fishbowl Collective.

Click here to learn more about the Henry Melchior Muhlenberg Society (HMMS).

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