Smart Arts Expands Its Scope to Broader WCC Community
Professor Toni Donofrio and students Steven Morales and Jairo Vergara of the Culinary Arts Department prepare soda bread for an event under the new program. /Bozhena Shuplat
WCC has set out to broaden cultural diversity throughout the campus by expanding its Smart Arts program, which kicked off the beginning of the Spring 2018 semester, with intentions of becoming a more creative campus.
Smart Arts Creative Campus (SACC) program, organized by The Office of Cultural Affairs, is working on expanding its program by collaborating with students, faculty members, and WCCs Academic Department by showcasing booked performances from various cultural backgrounds. Followed by these performances, outreach activities will be held to further educate and inspire students, deepening their social and academic life experiences.
“A Creative Campus should be looked upon as an incubator, a fertile place for introspection and reflection, for college students as well as community members,” said Dr. Rubenstein, Director of Cultural Affairs. “The world can be explored through the arts, shaping, and touching individuals toward a deeper sense of humanity as well as a better understanding of one’s role in society.”
The Academic department will participate in three performance-inspired events during the Spring 2018 season with involvement from the Culinary Arts Department, Power 88.1, and the Fashion Department. Making the cake, the performances, a much greater experience with the departments alongside as the cherry on top. Their involvement gives more participatory opportunities and entertainment.
With March being one of the celebratory months for Irish-Americans with St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, Smart Arts held a performance on Sunday, March 11, “Rhythm in the Night—The Irish Step Dance Spectacular.” Featuring fast footwork and powerful rhythms that riveted patrons, audience members also enjoyed Irish soda bread made by the Culinary Arts Department, who then gave a small lecture on the history of soda bread and handed out recipe cards.
Students’ availability is important to Smart Arts (SA) and will be considered within the upcoming 2018-2019 season, including more common hour events. In April, Power 88.1 and SA are collaborating, holding a Lip Sync contest during a Wednesday common hour. Afterwards, students are encouraged to attend the SEMI-TONED performance, an all-male singing group from Exeter University, based in Britain, who reigns as champions of a capella after being named university champions of Voice Festival UK. Participators will receive tickets (free for WCC students with valid ID) to their show, which will be held on Saturday, April 21 at 8 p.m.
The final Smart arts event for the Spring semester will be a fashion show from the Fashion Department of their final project, which will be a Non-Textile Gatsby/roaring 20’s theme in synchrony with the National Players performance of “The Great Gatsby.” The Fashion students will showcase their designs at the Fashion Show Expedition at the end of the semester and in the Academic Arts lobby the night of the performance on May 12. Tickets are also free for students with a valid ID.
“The Smart Arts Creative Campus is crucial to student growth and development, especially in a two-year school, where students don’t often know about or take advantage of the extra-curricular activities available to them,” according to a Cultural Affairs flyer. “The intent is to open students to their own creative drive while exposing them to the arts and having connect the arts with their own various academic disciplines.”
The Office of Cultural Affairs is also looking for Cultural Ambassadors to lead the Smart Arts program. Connecting with faculty and students to plan outreach activities, Ambassadors will collaborate with campus clubs and academic departments, using Smart Arts performances as inspiration.
While SACC was being established, the initiative to implement a student group to join an already existing organization, the “SmartArtspreneurs,” was well underway with the idea that more students can participate in the cultural arts with an opportunity to be in charge of events.
“An ideal candidate would be someone who is interested in world culture in relation to the arts and its implementation to applied learning activities,” according to a Cultural Affairs flyer.
Ambassadors will plan events around upcoming performances during common hours (Wednesday 11-1 pm or Thursday 4-6 pm) and “the events and activities would broaden student life through increased cultural awareness and participation.”
A Cultural Ambassador must be a WCC student with a GPA of 2.5 or above, attend weekly meetings, and plan collaborations with student clubs and faculty. The Ambassadors will be in charge of coordinating a variety of cultural-based events and activities to increase the involvement of the college community, working with officials and volunteers to develop and promote the cultural exhibitions and activities.
Upon developing the events, promoting the programs are important and must be marketed to students to make known of the SACC performances and club activities.
One of the main focuses of Smart Arts and the motive for Cultural Ambassadors when connecting with various departments on campus is to bridge and mediate groups and clubs of different cultural backgrounds, bringing them together.
If interested, contact: Office of Cultural Affairs using email@example.com.