Rasheen Jamison-Richardson: Celebrating children and the arts
By Dorothy Inman-Johnson
Special to the Outlook
Rasheen Jamison-Richardson has combined her love of the arts as a talented, well respected performing artist, arts administrator, educator, and entrepreneur with her love for children and seeing their talents fully realized. Born in Orangeburg, South Carolina, one of eight children, into a musical family called the “Jamison Singers”, she has lived a life dedicated to the arts. Florida State University (FSU) lured her to Tallahassee. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Music Education from FSU, graduating cum laude. She, also, received her master’s degree in Music Education from FSU, graduating magna cum laude. She and her husband, Brian Richardson, are residents of Gadsden County where she has made a major commitment to helping children develop their skills and talents in the performing arts.
She is a certified K-12 music educator with teaching experience in both public and private schools at the elementary, middle, and high school level in Orange and Leon counties, before settling in Gadsden County and accepting a teaching position in the Gadsden County School District. Rasheen is also a freelance artist, having performed live concerts as a classical vocalist on national and international tours. During her career, she has studied with some of the most renowned vocal coaches that included Dr. Angela Blalock, Barbara Ford, Dr. Mihoko Tsutsumi, and Dr. Christopher Swanson. However, Rasheen considers the founding of the Legacy Performing Arts Training Institute, Inc.,in Gadsden County one of her crowning achievements.
She is not only founder, but is also the Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director of Legacy, a Florida non-profit, community-based arts training institute for artistically gifted children in grades K-12 through the study of music, theater, and dance. It is the first organization of its kind in Gadsden County that exposes its students to master classes in the arts and outstanding performing artists. Mrs. Jamison-Richardson, a music teacher in Gadsden County beginning in 2004, made the decision to leave her full-time teaching position and establish an arts training institute during the 2008 recession when Gadsden County Schools were cutting arts programs. She has not regretted the decision. Legacy will celebrate 10 years of success in 2018, and provides advanced training in vocal/ instrumental music, dance, and theater for children from Gadsden, Leon, and Wakulla counties at its training center in downtown Quincy, Florida.
Rasheen named the Legacy Institute in honor and memory of her mother, Mildred Joyce Jamison_ an extraordinary musician, who died when Rasheen was just 13 years old; and left a very rich legacy for her children. The Institute’s slogan is “Leaving a Rich Legacy of the Arts One Student, One Class, One Performance, and One Opportunity at a time”. For Jamison-Richardson’s dedication and hard work on behalf of Gadsden County’s children and families, she was recognized as one of the “2013 Persons of the Year” by the Gadsden County Chapter of the National Hook Up of Black Women. She is, also, proud to have served as the Choir Director for St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Tallahassee.
And for Rasheen Jamison-Richardson’s outstanding work as a performing artist, researcher, educator, visionary, and guiding star for talented youth in Florida’s Big Bend, the Capital Outlook Newspaper is recognizing her as this week’s “Person of the Week”.