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Students sitting and talking outside Barry Arts Building.

Market on Monarch: Julie Clark

The Market on Monarch, a new community market that takes place on Saturdays on ODU's Monarch Way, will host a series of musical performances during market hours. Alumna Julie Clark will perform Saturday, July 3, so we caught up with Julie before her performance.

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Julie Clark graduated in 1989 with a BA in English, with an emphasis in journalism. After graduation she performed and toured nationally on a full-time basis for eight years, but has cut back her performing to follow another passion: working as a Certified Food Addiction Counselor.

"I'm happy to say that writing and performing songs about recovery from Food Addiction is part of my work in the field of recovery," she said. "Music ties the various facets of my work life together in a wonderful way."

In keeping with her English degree, she calls her music "lyric-driven," focusing on ideas, stories, and emotions she shares with her audience.

"I play a mix of my own original songs and cover songs I love, written by other artists," Clark said.

We asked Julie Clark a few questions in advance of her performance.

Tell us what you've been up to since graduating from ODU. Since graduating from ODU, writing (in one form or another) has been at the heart of most of my professional work. In addition to writing songs, I've also enjoyed writing government and private-sector grant applications, media releases, newsletters, social media announcements, blog postings, website content, promotional materials, newspaper articles, direct mail pieces, print ads and much more. In recent years, I've followed my passion (and my own journey of personal recovery) to become a Certified Food Addiction Counselor.

Did your time at ODU influence your music now, and if so, how? My time at ODU continues to influence my music, even today. For one thing, I'm incredibly fortunate to have received such a great education in professional writing. I continue to draw on that strong educational foundation every time I work at crafting a new song. But in addition to that, experiences and emotions from my formative college years at ODU bubble up as images in my songs more often than I would have imagined!

What would you say to current ODU students and aspiring musicians? Make the most you possibly can of the valuable opportunity to study and learn at ODU. If you're attending college fairly soon after graduating from High School, there may never be another time in your whole life when you can devote yourself as exclusively to studying and learning as you can now. Take full advantage of it by giving it all you've got. If music (or some other creative art) is your passion, don't be afraid to follow it!

This is the first in a series of Q&A's with alumni musicians performing at the Market throughout the summer. The Market on Monarch Way brings together community vendors, including student and alumni, for shopping, performances, and family fun from 4 to 8 p.m. Check back or follow the College of Arts & Letters at ODU, Arts @ ODU, and the Market on Monarch for performer schedules and market information.