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  • Writer's pictureSpotlight News Hampton Roads

United We Are a Force, and Individually We are W.O.N.

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

Image courtesy of Heather Shannon

Women of Note celebrates the unique talents of women of Hampton Roads and seeks to raise awareness of issues women face in the 21st century. We are well aware of the many hats women wear throughout the day as well as throughout their lives and we would like to give women the opportunity to share their experiences juggling these with our community. By sharing our experiences, we hope to inspire others, learn from their perspectives, and foster a dialogue that creates solutions. Today we spot light Heather Shannon.

Affiliation(s) (past and present):

Locally I've worked at Virginia Opera, Virginia Stage company, Virginia Scenic, served as Vice President on the board of Little Theatre of Norfolk, volunteered at Generic, snd Little theatre of Virginia Beach. I currently work at r. Lusk studios, making textile art (and a lot of other stuff!)

How long have you been (working in/participating in) your field? How did you get into it?

I still do some freelance theatre work, and Ive been doing that for 23 years, I got into it because a friend ask me to help her pull some costumes for a college show. I, then started helping with props for the show, and ended up on scholarship for theatre. As far as the studio job, a friend I worked with at VSC recruited me to do some side work...and here I am.

How long have you been working/ living in in Hampton Roads?

This is my second time living in Hampton Roads. I lived here for 2 years in the late 90's and have been back for 12years.

What advice would you give young women going into your field?

Don't be afraid of your talent, intelligence, or power....also, failure is one of the most important things to make friends with. You can't learn without failure.

Does your gender influence your relationship to your work? In what way?

I do think as women we are often held to a different sort of standard in how we approach a difficult situation.

Have you faced challenges in your field because of your gender or have you found your gender to be an asset? What kinds of challenges or advantages, and how have they affected your life?

I took a gig doing some specialty painting on a construction site. There was a level of sexual harassment that I was NOT expecting. There were times I was the only woman on site and that was very intimidating.

Has parenthood impacted your career or shaped your perspective as an artist? In what ways?

I'm not a parent, but I am very lucky to have gotten to work with some great kids in education programs and that was a huge gift.

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