The first and second floors of the Smith Student Center were filled with the sounds of beautiful, fun music and the scents of enticing food thanks to the annual Black Arts Festival hosted by the Black Action Society (BAS) on April 7. Students filled the area taking pictures at the photobooth, getting painted and being drawn as caricatures.
President of Black Action Society (BAS) and senior communication major Yonshalae Powell said the Black Arts Festival is really awesome tradition of Black Action Society.
“When we’re planning, we brainstorm what would be best for students and the best way to get black arts out there,” Powell said.
This year, the Black Arts Festival featured body and face-painting artists, a bracelet and necklace-making station, a photobooth and a caricature artist, to name a few. There was also a group of musicians performing on and off throughout common hour in the Student Center lobby; at one point, an announcer brought students and faculty members down to the floor in front of the stage to dance together to the music. Other students stayed on the second floor.
Senior physical activity and fitness management major Malcolm Roberson said it was a blast seeing racial minorities being represented on a predominantly-white campus.
“Seeing a bunch of new faces out here is great too,” Roberson said.
Powell said the purpose of the Black Arts Festival is to give students an opportunity to learn about black art and culture, and just to have a great time.
Richardson agreed and said he thinks it’s great bringing awareness to black heritage. He said it gives everyone a chance to really see the culture.
Powell said it’s really great to bring students together on a rainy day to appreciate black art. Powell said she defined the festival as an absolute success.
Freshman early childhood and special education major Katelyn Schlack said she really enjoyed the atmosphere and watching the musicians.
“I met lots of new people and had an awesome time,” Schlack said.
Powell wants to thank everyone who came out and made the event the success that it was.
“It really makes planning the festival worthwhile, and if you missed it, don’t worry, because it happens every year,” she said.
The Black Arts Festival will not be the last thing BAS does before the end of the semester. On April 30, Black Action Society will be hosting their annual end-of-the-year cookout from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Quad. There will be free food and games.
On the same day, BAS, the Student Union for Multicultural Affairs (SUMA) and the Student Organization of Latinos/Hispanics and Allies (SOL) are collaborating to host a Cascade event.
Tickets for this event can be bought at the Office of Multicultural Development in the CSIL for $14. This one-time price includes transportation, pizza and drinks and laser tag.