Barrett Smith

In her own words, Barrett Smith writes, “I am an editor. I am a filmmaker. I am a writer.

“I am.

“I am.

“I am.”

A senior at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C., Barrett studies in the Literary and Media Communications (LMC) Department, a program that trains talented students in writing, filmmaking, journalism and media studies. She has produced a portfolio of video work and writing that spans many themes and interests. She led a video team in the creation of a public service announcement about Sudden Infant Death Syndrome for Children’s Hospital and the National Institute of Health.

On the other end of the spectrum, she co-authored a profile on rapper and record producer Jay Z for the vibrant arts and lifestyle magazine Daisy James, which is produced by the LMC Department. In the most recent issue of Daisy James, Barrett was assistant editor and contributed a thoughtful essay entitled “Is Torture Written on the Wall? The Hunger Games as Political Commentary.” She has also contributed pieces to Room Eighteen, a journal of creative writing published by the LMC Department.

This year Barrett was given the Gold Key award, one of the D.C. Regional Scholastic Writing Awards for exceptional work, for her extraordinary personal essay, “Magician of Change.” Her essay appears in Raw Feet, the second annual anthology of Teen Voices of the D.C. Scholastic Writing Awards (Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, 2013).

On the subject of creativity, Barrett Smith says, “I have come to learn that questions don’t need to lead to answers, that questions lead to more questions. That’s what creativity is. Life doesn’t care about your questions, about creativity. Most of life focuses on what you’ve done, what you know, and what the power dynamic is. A bio is supposed to be an example of that, it is supposed to be a long list of achievements. I am supposed to list my portfolio, I am, according to convention, writing this to say - without saying - that I am more powerful than my peers….That’s not who I am, that’s not what I want to be, and that’s not what got me here. I am not a leader, I am not a follower but I am not a leader. I stand alone. Writing is how I shine, how I flicker, how I see and be seen; writing is why I am here.”