superstar of culture

noun [ C ] / su·​per·​star of cul·​tur /

a cultural change-maker; a champion of all things arts, culture, and education-related; a leader within the arts and culture field; an individual that we can all learn from

see also: cultural superhero, cultural role model

  • Clare Murray

Margaret Aiken, the mentor

Updated: Jan 22, 2019

Margaret Aiken lives, breathes, and thinks arts education. A Yale '04 and Tufts '10 alumna, Margaret not only has the academic credentials to impress even most astute art historians and museum professionals, but she also knows how to balance theory with practice in her own life and find beauty in the smallest of things and briefest of moments. To Margaret, the playful arts educator and museum leader whom I most dearly respect, every moment is a learning experience and every challenge is an opportunity just as a discarded scrap of paper holds the potential of flight and a mess of spilled paint a masterpiece.

As my boss at the Colby College Museum of Art for three years, Margaret taught me many things. Beyond sharing concrete bits of wisdom with me, like the power of community organizing around art and the importance of maintaining a personal art practice, Margaret taught me to believe in myself, my intuition, my abilities, and my future. An arts educator by profession but life-skills mentor by hobby, Margaret is an educator of the future. Like students of her academy, those of us that have had the fortune of working with her are all-the-more culturally-involved, creatively-inclined, and community-minded thanks to her.

Her creative genius inspires us. Her faith in equal collaboration motivates us. And her unconditional support and trust sustains us.

This National Mentoring Month, as I reflect on the mentors that have crossed my path, I owe the sincerest of gratitude to Margaret, the mentor who brought me out of my shell and into my authentic life.

"A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you." ~Bob Proctor

To celebrate the positive influence Margaret has had on my life and so many others, I inaugurate this blog, Superstars of Culture, in her honor, and name Margaret Aiken as the first of many Superstars of Culture deserving of our attention, applause, and admiration.

Superstar Snapshot: Margaret Aiken

Superstar strength: being mentor-tastic

Superstar secret talent: expert chef (even bakes brownies and banana bread from scratch!)

Superstar noteworthy quote: "find beauty in small things"

#nationalmentorshipmonth #colbycollegemuseumofart

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