THI Talks to New Leader: Stephanie Kacoyanis

October 6, 2020

THI Talks to New Leader: Stephanie Kacoyanis, Communications Officer, Division of Continuing Education, Harvard Public Affairs and Communications is pictured at Harvard University. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer.

The Hellenic Initiative‘s mission is to support charity organizations and economic development in Greece. What part of your work do you see as complimentary to that?

I’m a dual-career person: I work in thought leadership marketing and am also a classical singer. Thought leadership is about promoting unusual and unique points of view to expand people’s perspectives. I’ve realized many people, sadly, have a narrow view of Greece’s artistic contributions, thinking Greek art peaked thousands of years ago.
In some cases, they’re also unaware of our rich musical heritage. This informs my commitment to promoting the works of Greek and Greek-American composers in my performance career. From singing hymns by Kassia (a 9th-century CE Byzantine female composer) with the critically-acclaimed Lorelei Ensemble to world premieres conducted by the late Theodore Antoniou, I believe it’s important to share Greece’s vibrant musical tradition, both ancient and modern, with a broad audience. Doing so, especially for contemporary Greek composers, elevates their work as a living, breathing part of Greece’s enduring cultural contributions.

THI New Leaders chapters are growing in leaps and bounds. Why do you think young Greeks feel the need to connect with each other?

For many Greek-Americans, myself included, we met peers who shared our ethnicity primarily through our church communities. While certainly valuable, as I got older, I wanted the chance to connect with a wider network of Greeks to expand the type of service projects we could engage in. THI is just that: a worldwide “parea” made up of passionate, diverse, and accomplished individuals who are deeply committed to making an impact. It’s an honor to be part of a group like this.

We hear from our New Leaders all the time that they would like to be connected to young professionals in Greece. Do you have any ideas of how you would like to make more connections with Greeks in Greece?
It’s a great question. A program that brings together Greeks and Greek-Americans with similar interests or career areas would give us a chance to informally discuss ideas and challenges we share in our work and communities. The pandemic has forced us to reimagine what’s possible when it comes to working together remotely, setting the stage for more meaningful collaboration among Greeks from around the globe.