Senior Maddie Schafer volunteers at Lundstrum Performing Arts


Photo Courtesy of Maddie Schafer

Lundstrum hosts performances for its students to showcase their talents.

Senior Maddie Schafer is known throughout the BSM community as an active participant in the arts. Those who have seen her acting in school plays and singing at Mass can clearly see her passion for music and acting. Recently, Schafer has found another outlet for this passion by taking up a volunteering job at Lundstrum Performing Arts.

Lundstrum is located in North Minneapolis. “[Their] mission is to bring the joy of performing and musical theater to all––no matter one’s economic background––through acting, singing, and dance training,” Schafer said.

Schafter was directed to this position by one of her past 7th grade teachers, who had helped choreograph a play Schafer had acted in. “Ever since then, Lundstrum has basically been my second home, and I’ve gotten to grow up forming my craft surrounded by supportive fellow classmates––it’s like one big happy family,” Schafer said.

Schafer’s volunteering at Lundstrum has drawn her to help out in many different ways. Recently, she has been spending her time with children who have disabilities. “Right now, I help teach a class called Dance Mania, which is a dance and musical theater class for kids with Down Syndrome. For our upcoming showcase on December 9th, we are doing a song from Newsies called Seize the Day,” Schafer said. Earlier in her career at Lundstrum, she did other things. “I also have been a teacher assistant for sing and dance classes for 3-5 year olds, which is really cute and fun because it’s always such a fun experience working with little kids—[it] brings out the little kid in me,” Schafer said.

Schafer is very passionate about her job. She feels the most rewarded when she sees relationships building between the kids and herself. “My favorite part is when I get to class and all of my students know me by name and insist on hugs before we begin our dance warm ups… each of the kids show affection towards me in their own special way,” Schafer said. 

Although Schafer’s work brings her a lot of satisfaction, she is still met by occasional obstacles. “Sometimes there are children who don’t want to participate or disrespect the other students, and I think handling those situations with the right amount of patience, authority, and understanding is one of the hardest and most important parts… Whether I am working with younger children or teenagers with special needs, I always try to remain positive and keep their experience a good one so that they will want to keep singing and dancing and won’t give up,” Schafer said.

From listening to Schafer talk about her experiences at Lundstrum, the deep passion she has cultivated for her art––and the drive she has to help others experience that same passion––is clear. “I think it’s really important for all kids to experience some of the fine arts because it feeds the soul, stimulates creative thinking, and gives them the chance to express their authentic selves. I have been so lucky to be given this opportunity and I definitely want to continue this adventure in the future,” Schafer said.