American soprano Shauna L. Howard is inspired to make the world a more loving & beautiful place with music, dance, and fiber art. She has adopted various visual and performing art forms to spread a global message of arts advocacy, leadership, cultural appreciation, and compassion. Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, she grew up singing gospel music in her family’s church home. She performed in her high school chorus and local community choirs. In high school, she was often invited to perform the national anthem at CIAA and NCAA basketball games where she wowed audiences with her warm & mature voice.
Shauna L. Howard is a vocalist & a music instructor. She has worked as an adjunct voice teacher at the Community College of Allegheny County of Pittsburgh, PA, giving private and community voice lessons to adults and children. She was introduced to music therapy by teaching music appreciation to residents of Pittsburgh’s senior care facilities and working as a children's choir director emergency shelters. It was in Pittsburgh where she debuted as the soprano soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Patrick Polk Community Singers. She also sang for various Mt. Ararat Baptist Church choirs and was a chorister with the Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s 2004 musical theater production of Carmen Jones.
In 2008, Ms. Howard accepted a scholarship to continue her studies in classical voice at Temple University where she studied with sopranos Dr. Lorie Gratis & Sheryl Woods and the renowned mezzo-soprano Florence Quivar. She sang with the Temple University Concert Choir and was a chorister with the university’s production of La Boheme in 2009. She worked as the soprano section leader for six years: three years respectfully at St. Luke’s Church of Philadelphia and Christ Church of Philadelphia. She is a freelance vocalist, singing both with various entertainment production companies and with international recording artists Josh Groban, Patti LaBelle, Helmut Lotti, Helena Fisher, Andrea Berg, and Nana Mouskouri.
While studying at Temple University, Shauna L. Howard formed a small business where she designed winter accessories (hats, scarves, gloves, leg warmers, etc.) for singers and musicians to stay prepared for upcoming performances. Her customer base soon grew to include visiting artists, university faculty/ staff, and their networks. In 2010, she founded Fierce Stitch with the mission to promote creative entrepreneurship, self-expression, positive psychology, and the arts attracting customers and businesses in North America, Europe, and Australia.
Many artists and creative entrepreneurs sought her mentorship and guidance in their own projects and business ideas, so she set her sights on volunteering her expertise with organizations that previously helped her get started. She saw a need to connect artists and creative entrepreneurs with the business resources, so in 2014 she joined the board of SCORE Philadelphia as the Vice President of Membership. She utilized her positive psychology training, sales, recruitment, & leadership skills to recruit a dynamic of small business advocates to mentor Philadelphia’s brightest small business owners. Within two years of service, she increased the volunteer roster by over 500% and helped thousands of small business owners to get the necessary business advice they needed to thrive, thus creating businesses and jobs for the Philadelphia metropolitan region. She designed the first internship program of any SCORE chapter, connecting students and recent graduates to the world of entrepreneurship & non-profit advocacy. She traveled to numerous SCORE chapters throughout the country to give workshops, seminars, & presentations on volunteer recruitment & development and internship coordination. In 2015, she was invited to the SCORE Philadelphia National Leadership Conference in Reno, NV. She presented a motivational entitled “Artists are Leaders” to advocate for compassion, diversity/ inclusion, and creative strategies to grow local SCORE chapters and businesses. She received multiple awards for her service, including “Top National Volunteer Recruiter”, “Highest District Minority Diversity Amongst Volunteers”, and more.
In 2015, she was appointed the events committee chair for Emerging Arts Leaders: Philadelphia, an arts advocacy & subsidiary of Americans for the Arts (AFTA). Her goal was simple: teach artists how to thrive as businesses. Alongside with her co-chair Lauren Harkins, they coordinated professional development workshops, field trips to explore vast and diverse Philadelphia’s visual and performing arts communities, and the 2015 EAL:P Creative Conversation symposium held annually in October.
Shauna L. Howard is an arts advocate. She holds a passion for the new, the daring, the vulnerable, and the underdog in her art and advocacy. She has helped artists and arts administrators bridge the gap between the creativity and business by providing holistic and sustainable strategies to promote their vision clearly to their audience. In her discretionary time, she enjoys supporting diversity & inclusion initiatives, Alzheimer’s research, positive psychology academia, international travel, cultural exchange, writing, playing with dogs, and salsa dancing.