Sharing My First-Generation Story: Sadie Woods

Sadie Woods (MFA 2016), Lecturer, Contemporary Practices
Chicago native Sadie Woods is an award-winning artist, curator, and DJ. Her practice includes music directing, sound design, and collaborations within communities of difference. She is most known for her immersive multimedia performances and sound installations, exploring cultural memory and engaging in social and political spheres. Read on to learn about her experience as a first-generation college student.

Why was graduating from college important to you?
I’ve always been self-driven in my studies and pursuits. Graduating was an academic goal for me in pursuit of my career in the arts, as well as a personal accomplishment as a first-generation recipient of both an undergraduate and graduate degree.

How did college help your career and creative practice?
Higher education has expanded my creative network and created space to engage critically within multiple communities simultaneously. This has informed my practice in respect to having a balance between academic and socially engaged work.

What advice would you give to current first-generation college students?
Focus on your goals, honor your voice in your work, and do what is most meaningful for you. Find ways to apply your education to real-world experiences while you’re in school. Celebrate your victories.