Sam Smith M.S.W. is a long-standing member of the local Champaign Urbana and campus community. He currently works as the Director of Civic Engagement and Social Practice at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. This position originated as the engagement mission of Krannert Center and national performing arts centers have grown to work more intentionally with pressing social issues and in challenged communities. Sam develops and participates in projects and initiatives that extend the impacts of the Center, the technologies of the performing arts and the resources and expertise of the arts and culture sector.
Sam’s interests and projects include work in schools, in local and regional communities and in international development projects in Malawi and Sierra Leone. For example, he is the founder of the PEACE Project, a high school arts focused community engagement effort; and has supported Peace Camps for youth in Sierra Leone. Sam is a board member of several local, state and international organizations that promote civic engagement, community peace building and youth and community development. He recently joined the board of the Illinois Association of Juvenile Justice Councils and is actively developing a local council to support “At Risk” youth. His current interests are in the uses of applied theater practices in teaching, professional development and domestic and international community peace building. He is a current instructor with the campus based Inner Voices Social Issues Theater Program and has also taught in The School of Social Work at Illinois State University.