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Meet Erin Hannigan of Artists for Animals

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Hannigan.

Erin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started playing the oboe when I was 7; right before starting third grade. I loved it right away and decided very young that I wanted to pursue a career in music performance. I attended the Oberlin Conservatory (Oberlin, OH) and the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY) for my college degrees and musical training. I won a job early in my career with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, then a few years later I was landed the Principal Oboe job with the prestigious Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

After a few years of living in Dallas, I became very aware of the stray animal issue that we have, and I became very involved with Operation Kindness, a no-kill shelter in Carrollton. I dreamt of using my skills as an artist to a fundraiser for the cause, but I knew that we would have to pull together a collection of artists to truly make the most lasting impact. That’s when Artists for Animals was born.

Has it been a smooth road?
The career of an artist is never really smooth, though in hindsight I know I had it easier than many! I call my career “a series of really big opportunities for which I wasn’t sure I was ready, but you jump in, you commit, you succeed, then you grow from that milestone”.

In creating artists for Animals I’m noticing the same path. We are growing slowly but with intention, and we are making our impact on the Dallas Community.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Artists for Animals – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
As an artist, I am the Principal Oboist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. This is a full-time job, and I perform in 4 concerts per week all year round. The specifics of my job include leading the woodwind section and tuning the entire orchestra; the oboe is unique in that it cannot be tuned so my pitch, given at the beginning of every concert, is the standard for each individual to match.

I’m known as a professional musician who understands the power of giving back to my community. I am committed to Dallas and to helping others, both through my work as an individual and through Artists for Animals.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love the Arts community of Dallas. Orchestras all over the county are struggling, but Dallas supports its arts and is artists and that is truly a gift.

My least favorite thing about Dallas is the stray cat and dog problem. We seem to be getting a grasp on this, but it has really taken a long time. I dream of a Dallas that is no-kill; a city that doesn’t euthanize it’s healthy pets just because they have no home to which they can go.

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