SOAC Week highlights creativity, tradition
The School of Arts and Communication Week kicked off with a showing of student Andrea Calcagno’s documentary about global climate change, and performances by saxophonist Jamie Rottle and vocalists Kari Liebert, Morgan Ostendorf and Maggie Smith.
The annual event spanned a week in April and featured speakers, panels, workshops and performances. Under the theme “SOAC Week: Creative Community Building on Tradition,” the activities highlighted the talents of the students, faculty and alumni in the communication, art, music and theater departments.
“We hope all of the events and all of the speakers attract a wide range of students,” said Sabrina Coady, co-chair of the planning committee.
In the past, the event targeted only students and featured several speakers focused on communication and theater topics. This year, event organizers opted to reach out to both PLU and the surrounding community and encouraged alumni to attend.
“PLU is a focal point of this area,” said co-chair Breanne Coats. “We want to reach out to the community and let them know all the things we’re doing.”
Additionally, at the urging of Ed Inch, dean of the School of Arts and Communication, the week’s events showcased all the departments in the school – not just communication and theater. This broader emphasis displays the unity of the school and illustrates the many achievements and talents of its students, Coats said.
Throughout the week, three keynote speakers addressed topics related to art and communication. They included:
- Opening remarks by Monique Fouquet, vice president of academic administration at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, B.C.
- Sut Jhally, founder of the Media Education Foundation, whose talk, “Tough Guys: Masculinity and Violence” was presented in conjunction with the Men Against Violence conference
- Gary Geddes, noted author, poet and Vancouver, B.C., resident, whose closing address was titled “Operation Trojan Horse: Poetry, Politics and Peace”
The Art Walk featured a raku firing demonstration by assistant art professor Spencer Ebbinga, a reception and student-led tours that visited art-related sites on campus, such as the Mary Baker Russell Music Center, Ingram Hall, Eastvold Auditorium and student media offices in the University Center.
At each stop, student speakers discussed the building and how it relates to the department, and inside musical or theatrical rehearsals were ongoing. Tour guides also pointed out artwork on campus.
“We want to highlight PLU as a whole,” explained co-chair Allie Moore.
Other events included a discussion with former KOMO 4 news reporter John Sharify and the MediaLab Open House, which showcased senior Tove Tupper’s documentary “Keeping the Rhythm: The Story of the DASH Center.”
Additionally, PLU faculty members hosted a variety of classes and workshops, from drawing, pottery and playwriting to resume and portfolio tips. Alumni also spoke about life after PLU, and students presented their experience in SOAC internships.