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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Humans of UWW: Meet Kevin Hill

May 17, 2022

University Without Walls Interdisciplinary Studies 2022 student commencement speaker Kevin Hill is an award-winning director, choreographer, dancer, and actor born and raised in Massachusetts. As a professor of dance, he has served on the faculty of Pennsylvania State, Kansas State, and most recently, the Boston Conservatory of Music. Inspired by a life-changing reading assigned in UWW Reflections on Health, he recently founded A Safe Space Assisted Living (LLC) to serve the LGBTQIA2S+ community. At fifty-four years old, this First Generation college graduate is celebrating earning his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies summa cum laude with a concentration in arts studies and management.

Every adult student has a story. What’s your story?

For thirty-plus years, my one regret was not finishing my undergraduate degree. I could never find the right fit in an institution. I wanted someplace that I could call home, and I found that in the UWW Interdisciplinary Studies program. As I was contemplating my life when the COVID pandemic began, a good friend posted on Facebook that she had just graduated from the UWW program. I decided that this was the perfect time to apply and finally finish. Because I couldn't enroll right away, I got my feet wet by taking a few Bunker Hill Community College classes. We've lost a lot of people during the COVID pandemic, and I lost quite a few people myself, but it was the reset that I needed to complete my degree and work on myself as a person.

What's your profession?

I am the producing artistic director for two regional theatres: North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts, and Theatre By The Sea in Matunuck, Rhode Island.

What are your plans for after graduation, professionally and personally?

I want to continue in my position as producing artistic director, but I recently wrote a danced-play that I am hoping to get produced in London on the West End or Broadway. I am ready to be a part of something bigger than myself. I am also looking into graduate school, and I never thought I would say that.

What's a cause you're passionate about?

When I took the Reflections on Health class, I read the book "Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande. This book changed my life. I began to think about my own mortality which prompted me to create a new business. I am in the middle of finding investors for "A Safe Space Assisted Living (LLC)." This assisted living facility will cater to the friendly LGBTQIA2S+ community.

 

*The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the person being featured and do not necessarily reflect those of the University.