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Fall Arts Fest expands its reach

| 01 October 2003


The Berkeley African American Students Association was one of 20 student groups that performed at last year’s Fall Arts Fest premiere at the Berkeley Art Museum. This year faculty are invited by the event’s organizers to have their classes participate in the festival.
Photo courtesy Berkeley Art Museum

Building on last year’s success, the second annual Fall Arts Fest (“a celebration of art for students by students”) will be held Saturday, Nov. 8, at the Berkeley Art Museum. Organized by a committee of 15 student volunteers, the festival is meant to draw new student audiences to the museum and Pacific Film Archive by showing the work of their peers.

Last year’s event attracted nearly 1,500 attendees to a day-long program that included performance art, poetry readings, live bands, exhibitions of visual arts, a cappella choirs, and standup comedy. Twenty student groups and solo performers jumped at the chance to perform in public.

“Because the festival is student-to-student, it has a more informal aspect to it,” says Rod MacNeil, deputy director of audience development for BAM/PFA and staff adviser to the student committee. “It’s more accessible to them, and gives them a sense of ownership.”

The 2003 festival’s programming matches the variety of last year’s event. Korean and African drumming, dance groups, singer-songwriters, jazz musicians, and two choirs will be on hand in addition to exhibitions of visual art. Local arts organizations have been invited, and the student committee also works with the ASUC arts studio.

This year the Fall Arts Fest has broadened its scope by inviting faculty to incorporate the festival into class assignments. Assistant Professor of Architecture Anthony Burke and his colleague, Associate Professor Raveevarn Choksombatchai, have assigned their graduate students to make short films and animations based on design work they are currently preparing to exhibit. Students in Assistant Professor Michelle Lopez’s Art Practice class are making pieces that will be installed in the museum’s sculpture garden and around its exterior.

Faculty interested in having their classes participate can contact Rod MacNeil at rmacneil@uclink.berkeley.edu.

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