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Mercyhurst students celebrate ‘Arts on the Hill’

Friday, October 2, 2015

Mercyhurst students will be invited to immerse themselves in the arts on Thursday, Oct. 8, at the first “Arts on the Hill” event.

The festival is designed by students and for students, although the concept originated with faculty in the School of Arts and Humanities.

“The arts are the heartbeat of a liberal arts education,” explained Dance Chair Tauna Hunter. “It’s important to generate awareness of the fact that art is infused into our lives every minute of every day.”

She hopes students will not only enjoy the day’s events, but also learn about the arts offerings on campus and decide to attend some of the events that fill the Mercyhurst calendar.

Sophomore dance majors Ragan Faulkner and Kerry Schroeder chaired the student committee, which includes representatives from the art, music, dance and English departments as well as the Mercyhurst Theatre Program.

They chose Oct. 8 to capitalize on two already-scheduled arts events – the opening of a Cummings Gallery exhibit featuring works by adjunct faculty member Jamie Borowicz (5-7 p.m.) and a “Faculty Collage” concert by faculty from the D’Angelo Department of Music (8 p.m. in Walker Recital Hall). But students will be encouraged to explore all sorts of arts in the hours leading up to those events.

At noon, student artists – with or without art training – can begin creating masterpieces on 300 chalk drawing slabs in front of the Herrmann Student Union.

Between 2 and 6 p.m., students can take part in a drum circle, Zumba and yoga classes, a dance party, make and take arts and crafts, and more. Theatre students will guide an interactive tour and present monologues from Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology.” Everyone is invited to share their talents at open mic sessions from 4:45 to 5:30 and from 6 to 7 p.m. There’s even a baking competition. Weather permitting, all activities will take place in Garvey Park and in front of the student union. More than 50 volunteers will staff the booth area on Thursday.

Students who attend at least 10 events during the day will be entered in drawings for prizes, ranging from theme baskets to gift certificates. The Mercyhurst Bookstore donated Arts on the Hill t-shirts that will be worn by committee members and select volunteers, and some will also be given away as prizes.

“Arts on the Hill” is expected to become an annual event.