University to hold first ever Community Celebration of the Arts Festival on Oct. 22
October 20, 2016
Seen above is one of the pieces from last year’s “Images,” the annual faculty-choreographed dance performance. Students can watch rehearsals of this year’s upcoming dance show at the Celebration of the Arts in the newly formed arts district on Oct. 22.
Santa Clara’s new Edward M. Dowd Art and Art History Building is a masterpiece to behold. After several years of construction, the building opened this school year as the incredible new setting of the school’s art department.
To celebrate the new building, along with the wide variety of artistic opportunities on campus, the Santa Clara Art Department is hosting the Community Celebration of the Arts Festival on Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event has been in the works for some time. Marie Brancati, the brains behind the event, gave credit to the group effort across campus that put the festival together. As she explained, planning began last year.
“We brought all of the arts on campus together, the academic programs: art, art history, music, dance, theatre, film, creative writing and SCU Presents as an ‘Arts District’ to imagine how we might celebrate the opening of the building and the launch of the arts district.”
The festival, which at least 500 people are expected to attend, is free to the public and begins at 11 a.m. Every facet of the arts—theater, dance, visual art, music and creative writing—will be on display. Events will take place in the many rooms of the Dowd building, as well as in the Louis B. Mayer Theater, the Music and Dance Building, the de Saisset Lawn, the Recital Hall, the Pony Express Stage, the de Saisset Museum and the Mayer Theater Lawn.
Some of the many activities and demonstrations include a show by Santa Clara’s improv group Inoperable Humor, an open rehearsal of SCU Presents’ “Arcadia,” an open dance rehearsal for “Images,” performances from multiple dance groups on campus, a cappella performances, presentations from many visual artists, several art demos, performances from senior songwriter Riley McShane, a crochet jam and a reading by acclaimed faculty author Ron Hansen from his new book, “The Kid.”
And these are just some of the events taking place. With a plethora of activities offered, people will have to pick and choose which ones they attend.
“Really, when you look at the schedule, you will see that it is like choosing your favorite child!” Brancati said.
Coinciding with the Arts Festival is the Santa Clara Theater Department’s One-Act Festival. In the theater department, after taking a series of classes in directing, upperclassmen have the option to direct one-act plays, overseen by professor Jeff Bracco.
“The one-acts are always the same weekend every fall, so they weren’t made to coincide—but it is a happy accident,” Bracco said.
This quarter’s festival showcases three plays—two of which contain commentary especially pertinent to today’s society.
“In the Beginning” by Neil LaBute, directed by Kirsten Brondial, tells the story of a generational conflict between a parent and child, examining how passion can blind us.
“The Moon Please” by Diana Son, directed by Bryce Webster, is about a young couple with a newborn baby arguing over who should go to work at the World Trade Center on 9/11. The one-act explores how a seemingly small and inconsequential decision can seriously change a family.
The final play, “Less Said, The Better,” by John Milligan, directed by Darrell Hubbard, provides some humorous escapism and audience involvement through the tale of two hit men at a train station who both want to make their mark on the world.
The One-Act Festival takes place both on Oct. 22, the day of the Arts Festival, and Oct. 23 at 2 p.m.
These festivals are an important step in recognizing the artistic community at Santa Clara. In a world in which science and engineering increasingly take first priority—and more so in a tech community like Silicon Valley—it is encouraging to see the university dedicating time to value the arts.
The Community Celebration of the Arts isn’t just time to explore the new art building—the festival is the perfect way to discover the many talented artists here at Santa Clara and those in the greater Bay Area community, displaying what they can do when they are endowed with resources.
Contact Madeline White at email@example.com or call (408) 554-4852.