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Austin Peay State University student Kyrstin Young creates film reflecting on 2020 for Frist Art Museum exhibit


Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Kyrstin Young, Austin Peay State University (APSU) senior and dance team member, put her creative skills to the test when she began working on a film for “N2020: Community Reflections,” which premiered at the Frist Art Museum last week.

Austin Peay State University student Kyrstin Young. (APSU)

Austin Peay State University student Kyrstin Young. (APSU)

Nashville muralist Woke3, who curated the project, collaborated with photographers, choreographers, and other artists to create an exhibit that captured the events of the last year. The project includes events such as the tornado in North Nashville, the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, instances of racial injustice, the presidential election, and the Christmas Day bombing in Nashville.

The online exhibition concludes with a short video capturing everything that happened in 2020 through the dream of a single figure. Young was creative director and choreographer for the video, titled “The Great Debate,” in collaboration with executive producer Angel Adams.

“We covered everything that we could fit in 15 minutes, and we put it in that film to give people a glimpse of what kind of year we had last year,” Young said. “We wanted to do it in a creative way and put it in dance and acting form because we are actors.”

The online exhibition runs through August 1st.

‘It’s only going to change if we change it’

A screen-capture image from the film.

A screen-capture image from the film.

The exhibition begins with Karmiah Miller reciting a poetic narrative and ends Young and Adams’ video.

“I met Angel a while back and she asked me to be the creative director of a project before this. It was short and I knew I could do it,” Young said. “When she brought me on to this project, she wanted me to be the creative director and choreographer and, in my mind, I was unsure because I had never done anything at this capacity before. At first, I was like, ‘absolutely not.’ But she had faith in me, so I decided to give it a go.”

Young never thought she would contribute to such a large-scale project.



“It pushed me to think more outside of the box,” she said. “I’ve taught dance classes and choreographed dances for people. But that’s different. To have to create a feeling, you have to create for the audience.”

“N2020: Community Reflections” allows for participants to take time and remember 2020 and all of the ups and downs that got us to where we are now.

“I really want people to just take a step back and realize the world we live in and understand that it’s only going to change if we change it,” Young said. “I hope when people watch this film, they can connect to it in some way.”

‘Always be authentic … that’s what the world wants’

Kyrstin Young during a recent interview. (APSU)

Kyrstin Young during a recent interview. (APSU)

Young uses her Instagram to connect with her fans and spread her dance talent. Young uses her experience to reach her large audience and engage them in her work.

“I have a lot of babies that look up to me. I try to post motivational things and my best work. People want to see you,” Young said. “I tell them to never ever give up and don’t let social media guide you. Always be authentic because that’s what the world wants.”

Young has danced since she was 2 and grasped the art form when she was 5. When she turned 7, she knew she wanted to make a living dancing.



“Dancing means everything to me,” she said. “I dance when I’m happy, when I’m bored, just whenever. It just feels really good.”

Young has danced for the APSU dance team during her four years at the school.

What’s next?

Some big moments are coming up soon in Young’s life.

She is working on her next book, preparing for her graduation in May with a business management degree, and plans to move to Atlanta, Georgia, in August to pursue her dance career.

She also teaches dance classes in Nashville and is working on a short dance concert.

“I’m always doing something and something new pops up in my head every single day.”

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