This post was originally published on New York Amsterdam News

By Lois Elfman

Whenever the weather is nice in Brooklyn, Kristine Musademba is in a good mood. The waning days of summer saw her happy in the city she has called home since attending Columbia University, from which she graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. Before enrolling at Columbia, Musademba was familiar with New York from competing at the Middle Atlantic Figure Skating Championships held at SkyRink at Chelsea Piers.

“In my neighborhood, I feel a wonderful sense of community,” Musademba says. She moved to Fort Greene in 2020 and enjoys the parks, communities, and places she’s gotten to connect with and explore.

Musademba, who grew up in Maryland, began skating at a young age alongside her best friend and started competing in the sport at age eight. She competed at the juvenile, intermediate, novice, junior, and senior levels at U.S. Figure Skating Championships, winning the Intermediate Ladies title in 2005. She represented Team USA at several international competitions, including the Grand Prix and Junior Grand Prix, winning Junior Grand Prix events in Lake Placid, Spain, and France.

“The performance aspect of skating was really thrilling to me,” Musademba says. “You train for hours upon hours and then have two-and-a half-minutes [short program] or four minutes [free skate] to show everything you’ve got. Facing that challenge and overcoming fear and doubt, getting into my body and letting myself arrive at the level of performance I desired…was a beautiful experience to me.

“As I got older and progressed, competing started to become more meaningful in the sense that I saw it as this opportunity to connect deeply with the audience,” she adds. “Showing them my passion through artistry and emotion on the ice.”

A decade removed from her competitive days, Musademba is reconnecting in a mentoring role through the Figure Skating Diversity and Inclusion Alliance. The discipline of skating has served her well in life. Having moved through a career in the consulting, finance, and banking industries, Musademba is now a senior associate on the clean energy transactions team at a mission-driven non-profit investment fund. “I’m so excited about the ways a mission and work like that support the efforts our global community needs to make to ensure a more sustainable and equitable world,” she says.

Musademba still enjoys skating three or four times each winter and especially likes the rink in Prospect Park. “I can still do my double jumps!” she says. 

She is also an avid abstract painter under the pen name srnityart, creating paint and collage works on canvas, and has shown her work in Brooklyn. “The theme of my work is about celebrating individuality, peace, serenity, expression and love,” Musademba said. “Art is another creative outlet for me, another form of expression.”

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