Butler Ramping Up For ArtsFest 2014

VANESSA STAUBLIN | Staff Reporter

Jordan College of the Arts students and professors are preparing for the second annual ArtsFest, which begins next month.

ArtsFest is a 14-day event, held at Butler, celebrating the arts.  Freshman theatre major Sarah Tam said the festival covers all different aspects of the arts, including music, visual art, dance and theatre.

“It’s an opportunity for students of different diciplines to work together to create new art,” Tam said. “It’s also an opportunity for Butler and the community of Indianapolis to be exposed to art.”

Those who attend ArtFest events will be exposed to a unique experience that expands knowledge of the arts, Tam said.

“I’ve benefitted by getting to work with a group of people from all disciplines that I may not have gotten to work with if I wasn’t a part of ArtsFest,” she said.

ArtsFest is still a new event and experience on campus. Because this is only the second year it is being put on, Derek Reid, associate professor of dance, said its benefits to the community are still being determined.

“I do think that the concept is a great idea,” Reid said. “ArtsFest has the potential to stimulate imaginations and creativity.”

One example of how JCA students from different disciplines are collaborating is the production of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale,”
which is a collaboration between the theatre, music and dance departments.

“The piece tells the story of a man who enters a deal with the devil and must grapple with the consequences,” said Elysia Rohn, a junior theatre major. “I have really enjoyed this opportunity to work more closely with members of the dance department in a way that (theatre students) rarely get to do.”

Since the middle of February, members of this cast have averaged six days a week of rehearsal for around three hours each day. “The Soldier’s Tale” will be performed in the Schrott Center April 10.

JCA students work closely with professors, along with their colleagues from other JCA disciplines.

“Doctor (Owen) Schaub of the theatre department is our director, and he is great to work with,” Rohn said. “He is incredibly specific about what he wants.”

Other professors from different departments are involved as well.

“Each department will be offering specialized and collaborative works throughout the festival,” Reid said. “An extended opportunity for arts experiences is a great gift offered by Butler.”

Held April 3-13, ArtsFest makes art available to the surrounding community. Reid said he believes that Butler’s ArtsFest has time to grow and become a big part of campus.

“It would be nice for this event to be something that the Butler community can embrace, as well as the greater Indianapolis community,” Reid said. “I’m sure Butler would love to develop a leadership role in offering art exposure and experiences.”

The schedule of events and ticket ordering forms can be found online at www.butlerartsfest.com. Look for event highlights in the Arts, Etc. section this week and in weeks to come when deciding which events to attend.

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