Idyllwild Arts: The Writing That Heals

Published : Tuesday, December 5, 2017 | 11:57 AM

Pitzer College, the prestigious liberal arts college in Southern California, welcomed Idyllwild Arts Academy Creative Writing senior Emily Clarke to a three-day diversity program last month. All expenses were paid for participating students, all of whom came from underrepresented backgrounds. The students had the opportunity to learn more about Pitzer and to interview with its admission board.

“Pitzer is my top choice for college right now,” she says.

This program will boost her application when applying to Pitzer, even though she was originally nervous when submitting. Emily wrote a short essay, connecting with her Cahuilla Native American background, as well as a poem about her visit to Standing Rock and how she was empowered as a Native artist because of it.

She yearns for a college experience different from the typical lecture setting: one “that focuses more on out-of-classroom education.”

“Things that are going to stick with me rather than going to classes, memorizing, taking a test, forgetting, and doing it again.”

Emily wants to pursue a major specific to Pitzer, Creative Studies, which includes a variety of learning experiences such as Creative Writing, Psychology, and Native Women’s Arts.

In the future, Emily wants to become an art therapist, and use creative writing as a healing process for others. She strives to help people who are underrepresented, and wants to work in places such as children’s hospitals or nursing homes. Having already worked at a small nursing home in Arkansas for two summers, she is prepared and excited for what lies ahead.

“It was hard work emotionally, but it was always rewarding, and my time there really shaped me. I want to continue to share the healing I have experienced from writing.”


Idyllwild Arts, 52500 Temecula Road, Idyllwild, CA 92549-0038, (951) 659-2171 or visit





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