Arts! Initiative Brings Culture and Creativity to Colgate’s Campus

Jennifer Polland

As you walk through the quad next week, do not be daunted by the brilliant red hue of Lawrence Hall, or by Lathrop’s illuminating green tint, or even by the glowing shade of red decorating McGregory. Do not be stunned by the professional ice sculptures which dotting the quad. And when you go into the Coop for lunch, do not be alarmed by the musicians, actors and dancers who will be performing all week. These exciting spectacles are all a part of the Colgate Arts! Festival. It started with a simple dorm-room chat. Now it is consuming the Colgate campus with music, dance, sculpture, painting, lights, theater and poetry. Now officially recognized by the SGA, the Colgate Arts! Initiative was founded in Fall 2003, on the conviction that supportive and energetic programs for the arts are vital for a successful liberal arts education. The purpose of the organization is “to maintain an active representative council of all student organizations affiliated with the arts, for the promotion of artistic events, identity, and influence at Colgate University.” From SMuTCo to the Ballet Club, every leader of every arts group at Colgate is represented in the Colgate Arts! Initiative. According to Senior Matt Brogan, a founder of the Colgate Arts! Initiative, “This is a festival where all of the leaders of arts groups at Colgate get together to promote the health of the arts at Colgate.”Students involved with the arts represent a large percentage of the Colgate community. However, these individuals and organizations lack a cohesive voice. For the first time, the Arts! Initiative hopes to address arts-related issues and problems with a unified vision. According to Brogan, “If you add up the number of people in all of our groups, we total between 600-800 people. That’s a huge percentage of the Colgate population. We are so underrepresented on campus, and we are hoping that the Arts! Initiative will change that.” Senior and founder Rebecca Spiro added, “It seems that arts groups on campus have no idea that each other exist, and if they did, they could benefit from each other.” In addition, the organization presents a unique opportunity to create new artistic events by bringing together Colgate’s most creative and crossing traditional disciplinary lines. Based on these premises, the Arts! Initiative was created, and the Arts! Festival was set in motion. Last year marked the first time Colgate held a festival of events to showcase student involvement with the arts. According to Spiro, “Last year’s festival was immensely successful. We had never before seen such a clear showing of artistic unity on campus.” The Colgate Arts! Initiative hopes to build on the success of last year with the second annual Student Arts! Festival. This year will feature new events like performance workshops with professional artists and a day-trip to artistic events in Syracuse, while last year’s best will still return. All events will be free and extended to the entire Colgate community. The festival will run from Monday, February 14 through Saturday, February 19. Each day, there will be several unique events devoted to the arts. Be sure to visit the Coop every day between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for special performances by the Ballet Club, Student Bands, The Colgate 13, The Swinging ‘Gates, The Resolutions and The Discords. There will be living statues, CD sales and give-aways at the Bookstore all week. If you are planning on eating dinner at one of the dining halls, eat at The Edge, where each night you will be inundated with live classical music, live jazz, an “Open Mic” night, and a “Release Night.” If that’s not tempting enough, there will be a primo menu with choice desserts. Monday, February 14: The festival will be kicked off with a “Classical” Dinner at The Edge, from 6-7 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., go to the Coop for “State of the Art,” where a panel of students and faculty will debate multiple issues concerning the arts at Colgate. If you can’t make it, listen in on WRCU (90.1). At 8:30 p.m , at the Coop, the Colgate 13 will perform their annual Valentine’s Day Concert.Tuesday, February 15: The Ballet Club and various student bands will be performing at the Coop from 11-1 p.m. Between 6 and 7 p.m. is “Open Mic Night” at The Edge. Go to The Palace Theater at 7 p.m. to see Cuartango. With dance, poetry and song, this exciting tango string quartet presents the story of Cumparsita as told by the celebrated tango lyricist, Celedonio Flores. At 8 p.m., at Donovan’s Pub, SCOPe presents Mirah, The Lovers and The Weeds. Here, three girls with three guitars will each play their own unique blend of folk, rock and pop.Wednesday, February 16: Protoculture will be featured at the Coop from 11-1 p.m. From 6-7 p.m. will be “Release Night” at The Edge, where you can release some tension and openly express yourself. From 7-9 p.m., at the ALANA cultural center, learn some dance moves. Here, Colgate’s best dance groups will teach you how to salsa, meringue, swing and more. At 9:30 p.m., go to the basement of the Creative Arts House for an exciting performance of Student Theater’s “One Night Stands,” where you will hear relaxed staged readings of the best plays you’ve never heard of. There will be free food, but BYOB.Thursday, February 17: All of Colgate’s superb a cappella groups will perform at the Coop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A Senior Flute Recital will take place in Memorial Chapel at noon. At 4 p.m. at The Barge, the Winterfest Arts Competition will take place. You can see student works while the winners and awards are announced. Between 6 and 7 p.m., there will be a special Jazz Night at The Edge. At 6:30 p.m., go down to The Palace Theater to see the annual performance of The Vagina Monologues. At 10 p.m., the Poetry Slam will take place at Creative Arts House. Experience Colgate’s best poets and bring your own work to share. There will be free food, but BYOB.Friday, February 18: Not only will the Ballet Club and student bands be performing at the Coop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but you can eat free food while you watch them perform. At 2 p.m., John Cooney ’01 will offer a unique theater workshop called “Method Acting” in Ryan Studio. The workshop is free, but space is limited, so come early. At 4 p.m., at Ryan Studio, there will be another theater workshop, called “Movement and Improv,” which will be led by Wendy Dann, the artistic director of the Hangar Theater in Ithaca, NY. At 4:15 p.m., meet at the Coop to experience the Colgate Architecture Walking Tour. Enjoy free coffee and a relaxing stroll through architectural history. RSVP to senior Matt Brogan at [email protected] Between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m., experience one of the crown jewels of the Arts! Festival: the Student Exhibition and “Open House” at Little Hall. New student work will be presented throughout Little Hall alongside Clifford Art Gallery’s current exhibition, “Suddenly Older.” There will be free dinner and live entertainment. At 6:30 p.m. The Vagina Monologues will be performed at the Palace Theater. At 10 p.m., come to Creative Arts House, for the Student Musical Theater Company’s (SMuTCo) Karaoke party. There will be free food, but BYOB. Saturday, February 19: From 10-12 p.m., go to Whitnall Field to witness the Winterfest Olympics. At 1 p.m., experience a really extraordinary opportunity: get out of town and enjoy the Syracuse Stage professional production of Visiting Mr. Green. Afterwards, visit The Red House art gallery to see what else CNY has to offer. Space is limited, so RSVP to Matt Brogan at [email protected] soon. At 2 p.m., in Ryan Studio, there will be a modern dance workshop, taught by Nicole Cotton, BFA in Dance at SUNY Buffalo. At 4 p.m., there will be a ballet workshop, led by Steven Hyde, the Assistant Director of the New England Ballet Company. At 8 p.m., the Swinging ‘Gates will perform at the Barge. At 9 p.m., at The Palace Theater, the festival will go out with a bang, with a performance by Soulive and Quintus, with Charred Goosebeak.