In addition to sugar candy hearts, students will be sharing their love of the arts this Valentine’s Day weekend at the second annual Arts Across Campus event, a benefit showcasing the talents of the Ithaca College arts community.
This year, Arts Across Campus, sponsored by the college’s Inter-Fraternity Council, is a benefit for music students Joshua Oxford ’07 and senior Michaela Bushey, who were both involved in severe accidents this summer. The event is free, but donations will be accepted. All proceeds will go to Oxford and Bushey to offset medical expenses.
Last year’s event in April was put on as a community service project by Mu Phi Epsilon, the coed music fraternity of the three recognized fraternities at the college. Senior Michael Capone, president of IFC, said the turnout at last year’s event was low, but he hopes this year’s event will draw a larger audience. Last year’s event was largely music-based, while this year will include many different performances.
“We’re giving the public a venue for students of all majors to display their work, to perform or to do whatever it is they do best,” he said.
Senior Shannon Sweet and junior Travis Kaller, members of IFC, were responsible for coordinating Arts Across Campus this year. Sweet and Kaller started planning the event last semester.
In addition to planning, Sweet will perform a choreographed belly dance piece, and Kaller will perform in Ithacappella.
Sweet said she was happily surprised by the broad range of performers who are participating in the event.
“We have a relatively diverse group of people with different acts that don’t actually involve playing music,” she said. “It’s going to be wild and crazy.”
Capone said he is enthusiastic about the arts community coming together to perform for this cause. He said students in the Music School are invested in raising money to help Oxford and Bushey recover.
“[Oxford] has been such an inspiration to everyone in this school so far because of his musicality and his passion for what he does,” he said. “That’s true for [Bushey] as well.”
Senior Daria Harper, president of the college’s all-female a cappella group, Premium Blend, said she is worried artistic pursuits are being lost and hopes this event will help bring the campus community together.
“People everywhere need to continue to see how vital and important the arts are to not only well-rounded education but being well-rounded as a person,“ she said. “I feel the arts are in danger of being underappreciated and, most importantly, underfunded.”
Performers slated to perform throughout the day include Ithacappella, Cayuga Suite Barbershop Quartet, IC Voicestream, Premium Blend, ICircus and Speakeasy. Other individual acts — belly dancing, slam poetry and visual arts — are part of the lineup as well. Each group is scheduled to have a 10- to 30-minute time slot throughout the afternoon to perform.
Between Premium Blend and Ithacappella’s individual sets, the a cappella groups will join together to perform their recently released cover of Katy Perry’s “Firework.” Harper said having the groups sing is a great fit for the event.
“The song has a message of hope and strength that we feel is so appropriate for this event,” she said.
Sophomore Brandon Reyes, lead singer of Cayuga Suite Barbershop Quartet, said his group is looking forward to the upcoming show and has some surprises for the audience.
“We already have plenty of songs we can choose from for this show, but we want to do something a little different to add some more emotion to these pieces,” he said.
Sweet stressed the importance of participation in the arts.
“This event is to raise awareness about all the different arts across campus,” she said. “It is also about raising awareness about these two people and to take all of the proceeds and donations from this to go to their recovery.”
Sweet said she hopes the event continues.
“I hope that next year we get photography, painting and printmaking,” she said.
Reyes said he is eager to see what talents the other acts have to contribute.
“It could open my eyes to new things, and I’m sure it will do the same to other people if they really focus and take in what’s going on,” he said.
If you Go
Arts Across Campus
When: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
Where: Emerson Suites
How much: Free. Donations are encouraged.