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Sana Colter MGSA’20 on stage
Sana Colter founded Cultural Rhythm Expressing Art to Empower (CREATE) during her senior year at Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Photography by Nick Romanenko

Growing up in Harlem, Sana Colter learned to play the flute and piano in fourth grade. As an eighth grader, she was selected to participate in the prestigious Juilliard Music Advancement Program. The more Colter MGSA’20 improved as a young flutist, the more she began to notice that fewer of her fellow musicians were students of color. Today a classically trained flutist, Colter founded Cultural Rhythm Expressing Art to Empower (CREATE) during her senior year at Mason Gross School of the Arts. She helps underrepresented groups surmount barriers to careers in the arts, particularly ones in classical music, in which African Americans and Latinos make up less than 5 percent of the musicians in orchestras nationwide. Colter hopes that CREATE will help these artists prepare for auditions, which she says are especially challenging for those who have “impostor syndrome”—chronic self-doubt despite a record of achievements.