By Nick Stern, Senior Reporter | Photo by Nick Stern
Arts Jam is back at Westside Campus for the spring and people have used the opportunity to express themselves in many different ways.
Arts Jam is an annual event that is all about arts and culture in which students and faculty alike get the opportunity to showcase their different talents and have a richer experience within the college environment, Mark Love- Williamson, Religion, Humanities and Philosophy Instructor said.
The Arts Jam is one day a week for five consecutive weeks starting from Monday, March 24 until Thursday, April 10 and is exclusive to the Westside Campus within the Michael J. Glennon rotunda, he said.
“I always insist that my students get outside experiences. So the motivation was to enrich campus life and enrich the students’ experience,” Love-Williamson said.
Everyone who participates is allowed to perform an array of arts that include music, poetry reading, novel readings, dramatic readings and art shows, he said.
Love-Williamson said that students were so involved in this event that even the promotion posters were designed by students who were interested, he said.
The Anthropology Club also has workshops that are a part of the event and explains many different prehistoric skills from making pinch pots to rubbing sticks together for a fire, Love-Williams said.
Students and faculty are the primary performers while many faculty members brought their entire class to either perform or to watch and support other performances, he said.
“Many faculty will bring their class, like an English class will come and the students will take turns reading. We encourage faculty to bring their classes or to suggest that their students come down and check it out,” he said.
Arts Jam is part of the student organization known as Novel Slam which is supported by the college and throws the Novel Slam celebration during every fall semester as well, he said.
Currently there are no plans to host similar events related to the Arts Jam or Novel Slam anywhere other than the Westside Campus in the future but the event will keep on being held every year and does play a large role in creating the campus’ identity and is highly anticipated by many in the Westside community, he said.
“It helps establish that this is unique to Westside and it helps establish a sense of community and identity here. Students and faculty who have been here a while look forward to Arts Jam and Novel Slam each year and it is our thing, but I would be willing to help other people get started someplace else,” Love-Williamson said.
Communications and Education Major, Charles Sanzone-Wood is part of a theater class that attended the Arts Jam this year and read from several different plays for the experience, and of course — extra credit, he said.
The experience has always been cherished by him and he believes that the event is important to people in the theater department because the performances can help build a sense of confidence among shy students, he said.
“It is always really cool but it is especially cool in theater because it is hard for some people who are not used to speaking in public to go out and read in public. You have to project and speak loudly and it kind of sounded like a bunch of people whispering, but next time they go up there, they are going to have more confidence,” he said.