Laboni Islam is an arts educator. Most mornings, she explores paintings and sculptures with kids. In the afternoon, she figures out how to make Shakespeare accessible for more students. She writes in the margins of the workweek.
Hart House 1998–2004
- Member then Secretary of the Literary & Library Committee
- Member of the Board of Stewards
- Co-editor of the Hart House Review
- Co-curator for Hart House Library
“Hart House was home on campus. I was active from the fall of 1998 to the spring of 2004, beginning in the Literary & Library Committee, and then becoming its Secretary and a member of the Board of Stewards. While on the Committee, I worked on six issues of the Hart House Review, twice as its Co-editor. I also had the privilege of being the Co-curator for Hart House Library and laying the foundation for the Writer-in-Residence program.
“I am happy to have been the library’s custodian; to have sorted, labelled, catalogued, shelved and re-shelved almost every book; and to have developed the Rights & Responsibilities of Hart House Library Patrons. I still feel connected to the collection, the space, and I have an impulse to rearrange the furniture.
“I enjoyed collaborating on the Hart House Review. Ours were the years of experimentation—with different papers, themes and student art wrapped right around the cover. We began expanding the publication, interviewing established writers and including excerpts from them, such as from Rohinton Mistry, whose literary career began at Hart House. The Hart House Review now enjoys national distribution. When I walk into a bookstore and see it on the shelf, I know that I was part of its journey and it, a part of mine.
“Nothing would have been possible without the encouragement and guidance of Hart House ambassadors Warden Margaret Hancock, Program Director Laney Marshall, Program Advisors Patricia Grant, Ross McCallum and Jennifer Hamilton and Literary & Library Committee Chair Al Moritz.
“I served as an elementary school teacher for several years; many of my wonderful students are now part of this University of Toronto community. Currently, I am an arts educator, an instructor and tour guide at the Art Gallery of Ontario and an administrator at Shakespeare in Action Theatre Co. I still return to Hart House for its warmth and creativity.”