Arts! Initiative: Encouraging Town and Gown Culture

The student-run Colgate Arts! Initiative kicks off its fourth annual Arts! Festival today. It will feature exciting events in art, theater, music and dance until next Saturday, February 24. The Arts! Festival highlights and showcases the arts on campus and in the surrounding community. The Arts! Festival gets underway with a performance of The Vagina Monologues at the Brehmer Theater tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. The Arts Bazaar, which will be held Tuesday through Thursday, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Coop, will be a forum for student artists to sell everything from jewelry to clothes to paintings. Proceeds will go to help raise money for charitable causes. New York artist Agata Olek will be visiting to collaborate with Colgate students on public art projects on campus. In addition to spending time at the Arts Bazaar at the Coop, Olek plans to conclude her stay at Colgate with a lecture on the collaborative art she created during her visit. This will tentatively be held at Golden Auditorium, Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. Other events include a performance by a fire-dancing team from Wesleyan College on the academic quad next Friday at 10:30 p.m. and a Masquerade Ball at the Creative Arts House to close out the weeklong festival next Saturday at 10:30 p.m.

Sophomore John Emison, President of the Arts! Initiative, is excited about the events and hopes that that will bring the surrounding community together. Various children’s workshops will be held during the festival, including ones for calligraphy and another on making clay pottery. Charred Goosebeak, the Colgate improvisational comedy troupe, will also hold a workshop for children on Monday at 3 p.m. “Not only do these events strengthen town and college relationships, but it gives students a great opportunity to work with kids,” Emison said. Little Hall will be showcasing artwork from Edward R. Andrews Elementary school students in place of Colgate student’s work to further extend the feeling of community.

Emison stressed that the Arts! Festival is not just for students with past experience in art. Events like the themed dinners next Tuesday through Thursday at 5 p.m at The Edge Caf?e expand the events to the wider campus. Dinners will feature live music from the Jazz Ensemble and the Resolutions among others. A Snow Sculpture Competition will be held on the academic quad next Saturday at 2 p.m. for all to enjoy. In addition, there will be four canvasses erected at various locations on campus. The goal is to encourage impromptu group art. Students who may not be involved in art classes at

Colgate can “make their mark” here, explained Emison. The four canvases will be displayed together at the end of the week.

“Arts at Colgate seem to keep getting stronger and stronger and the Arts! Festival is another way of promoting the visibility of arts on campus,” Emison said. “We want to get people involved in the arts who wouldn’t normally be, and to have some fun!”

He explained that the Arts! Festival is a great way to introduce the world of art to students at Colgate, who may be unaware of the events held on campus throughout the year, including film screenings, gallery exhibits and lectures. Overall, Emison explained, “The Arts! Festival is a perfect way to bring some cheer to this winter gloom.”