ALANApalooza: Community-Building Through Music, Food and Fun

Colgate’s Africana, Latin, Asian and Native American Cultural Center (ALANA) held their annual ALANApalooza event on Sept. 7 from 4:30 p.m – 7 p.m. It was set up and run by Colgate students and staff on the ALANA Patio, and included live performances and food catered by Doug’s Holy Smoke BBQ. 

Events like these serve as community building opportunities, and bring students, staff and faculty together to support and celebrate each other. This event encouraged musical and artistic expression and showcased Colgate’s many talented students. The live performers included singers, pianists, bands and poets — many students performed their original work. One attendee, junior Rose Nguyen, has been involved in some of ALANA’s events such as the Multicultural Night Market and Fashion Show. 

“I loved the variety of performances at ALANApalooza today, from singing to dancing, to a cappella and reading poetry,” Nguyen said. “My favorite performance was the original poem named ‘Tale of a Blackbird’ by Salem Sokpoli.”

Between performances were announcements encouraging students to join clubs such as Southeastern Culture Club, Brothers and Black Student Union. There were also a few tables set up for the Center for Outreach, Volunteerism and Education (COVE), the Counseling Center, Campus Safety and Haven. There were sign-up sheets to become a Haven Ambassador or participate in this semester’s sessions of “Yes means Yes” — Haven’s seminar on positive consent. Junior Catherine Bennet, who works at the Counseling Center, was present to highlight their services.

“We were there to help spread awareness of the services offered to students including individual therapy and our different group therapies. My favorite aspect [of ALANApalooza] was all of the performances and bands. Everyone was so talented. I feel like events like ALANApalooza help create a closer community and allow everyone to meet new people.”

Many students attended ALANApalooza and showed support for their peers. Attendees enjoyed food, conversation and the performances. This event hosted talented individuals and duos as well as some of Colgate’s musical groups and bands. 

Arden Knapp, Secretary of the Colgate Resolutions, discussed her role in the event.

“I am in the Colgate Resolutions, one of Colgate’s co-ed a cappella groups.. I am the secretary of the group, and over the summer I had a meeting with Darlene Wattles [Assistant Director of ALANA] and Esther Rosebrook [Director of ALANA] to discuss DEI training for our group and they invited us to perform at ALANApalooza. This was my first time hearing Saftey Fourth play, one of Colgate’s bands, and they were really amazing. Events like this help to bring everyone together and show everyone what ALANA Cultural Center is, as it is a really important part of Colgate’s campus and community.” 

The ALANA Multicultural Center helps foster an inclusive and supportive environment for students of color on Colgate’s predominantly white campus. It is committed to community building, social justice, student empowerment, peer education and peer engagement. The ALANA Cultural Center and all of the events it holds welcomes all students, staff and faculty on campus. To keep updated on ALANA’s upcoming events, visit their page on the Colgate website or sign up for their mailing list.