Perspective is everything for Stefanie Colarusso, director of programs and events at the Everhart Museum of Natural History, Science and Art.
“In the end, only three things matter — how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of the things not meant for you,” is the philosophy she uses to support her in life.
As the director of programs and events Colarusso leads a team of seven women and oversees the design and implementation of pre-K through 12th grade educational programs, community events and outreach, volunteer and internship programs and public events and fundraisers.
She also manages the regional Folk and Traditional Arts Partnership of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) and the regional Scholastics Art and Writing awards.
The executive is a member of the Lackawanna County Arts, Culture and Education Council; the Arts in Education of NEPA advisory board; and the IACUC of the University of Scranton. She has served as a judge of the NEIU Regional Poetry Out Loud Contest on WVIA for many years and served as a member of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre committee.
Colarusso first worked for the Everhart Museum 20 years ago as a high school intern and clearly remembers seeing The Maslow Collection for the first time.
Some of her favorite artists include Yinka Shonibare, Ellen Gallagher, Sol Lewitt, Theo Jansen, Spencer Finch and Mark Dion.
She studied microbiology in college before making the decision to focus on fine arts in her third year with the dream of becoming a working artist. She completed a fieldwork internship at the Northeast Educational Intermediate Unit as an assistant coordinating artist-in-residence programs for the PCA.
She graduated from Kutztown University and continued working as an assistant for the PCA while also managing educational programs and membership at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple before accepting a position of director of interpretive programs at the Everhart Museum.
She became a state roster artist for PCA and received a Teaching Artist Certificate from the University of the Arts.
“I am incredibly inspired by local artists and have always felt an immense appreciation for the arts and culture community in our region. I’ve made so many wonderful friends along the way that I owe my growth as an artist and administrator,” she noted.
Colarusso is incredibly grateful for being taken under the wing of Dr. Catherine Richmond-Cullen, one of her mentors and very best friends.
“She instilled in me the desire to work hard and to never stop learning. She inspires me to be confident and creative in every aspect of my life,” she noted. Another mentor has been the late Matthew F. Flynn who taught her what it means to be a good person and to love people and to always strive to be better.
Colarusso’s husband, Michael, is her greatest support.
“I could not be successful without his support to keep going, even when the going gets tough,” she said. Also, her parents have always been there for her and have pushed her to do what she loves. The couple has two children, Francesca and Jude, who keep her on her toes and give her a fresh perspective on life, and a Great Dane, Godiva, who gives the best hugs.
Colarusso received the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Pennsylvania Power in Purple Award and the NEIU Arts in Education Community award.