The Daily Northwestern

ART BOX festival brings student performances to the Lakefill

The+month-long+ART+BOX+festival+will+take+place+in+a+container+on+the+Lakefill.+It+was+created+to+expose+the+larger+Northwestern+community+to+Northwestern%E2%80%99s+vibrant+art+scene%2C+by+featuring+everything+from+visual+to+performance+art.+
The month-long ART BOX festival will take place in a container on the Lakefill. It was created to expose the larger Northwestern community to Northwestern’s vibrant art scene, by featuring everything from visual to performance art.

The month-long ART BOX festival will take place in a container on the Lakefill. It was created to expose the larger Northwestern community to Northwestern’s vibrant art scene, by featuring everything from visual to performance art.

Lauren Duquette/Daily Senior Staffer

Lauren Duquette/Daily Senior Staffer

The month-long ART BOX festival will take place in a container on the Lakefill. It was created to expose the larger Northwestern community to Northwestern’s vibrant art scene, by featuring everything from visual to performance art.

Rachel D. Holtzman, Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story







A&E


This month, a container next to the fire pit on the Lakefill will be filled with music and art, as part of an initiative to bring accessible performance and visual art to non-artists at Northwestern.

ART BOX, a one-month festival running through Finals Week, was launched by Arts Alliance on Wednesday. It brings together interdisciplinary kinds of art and puts them in a space that is more accessible to students outside the artistic communities, said Communication senior Joseph Entenman, who started the project.

He said he proposed the project last fall, envisioning it as a way to get artists to engage with the larger NU community.

“I’ve always felt a need for smaller-scale, lower-stakes, intimate performances and art installations,” Entenman said. “A big challenge of presenting artwork in general is that the concert halls and theater spaces and galleries aren’t anywhere near the centers of traffic on campus.”

ART BOX will be home to a variety of performances and exhibits over the course of this month, Entenman said. The planned events include staged readings of plays and musicals, afternoon concerts, open-mic performances and art exhibits, with some days featuring more than one event. The box also includes full sound and lighting capabilities for artists to work with.

Entenman said in some cases the organizers will work as collaborators to develop pieces with the artists. He added he has reached out to some actors on behalf of directors doing a reading series, but that most acts will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

ART BOX is also about starting to redefine what accessible theater should mean to students on campus.

“The trick is the invitation,” Entenman said. “What I’m trying to do with ART BOX is invite more people who … wouldn’t consider seeking out theater or seeking out a small-scale concert or a student art display in the Dittmar to come and see what students on campus are doing and can do, and to participate in (that dialogue).”

Arts Alliance finance director Andrew Restieri, a Communication sophomore, said the theater board sees it as a natural extension of its mission, supporting arts talent on campus and making it accessible to all students.

“People are often intimidated by theatrical performance spaces and feel they’re inaccessible, and that’s everything Arts Alliance is trying to reject,” Restieri said. “It puts art in a less conventional performance space, but does so in a way that makes it increasingly accessible and also makes opportunities for artists accessible.”

Originally, ART BOX was going to be located in four different spots on campus to try to create as much traffic as possible, Entenman said.

After speaking with Norris University Center administrators, Entenman decided it made more sense to try out one location on the Lakefill first, rather than four different boxes.

“The Lakefill felt the most unified in terms of ownership – the largest portion of the Northwestern community felt comfortable on the Lakefill and spent the most time on it already,” he said.

The festival is financially supported by the School of Communication Performing Arts Grant, the Office of Campus Life and the Associated Student Government’s Wild Ideas fund, Entenman said.

Communication sophomore Simran Chadha led the Wild Ideas committee at the time when it chose to support ART BOX. The ASG committee thought Entenman’s proposal was truly the definition of a “wild idea,” Chadha said, because it fosters new artistic expression both in and out of the theater community.

“One of the things we’re always thinking about is whether things are accessible to the whole student body or (more) niche,” Chadha said. “This really brings theater, dance, visual art and so many other kinds of mediums in the community front and center.”

Email: rachelholtzman2018@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @rdanielle1995

Comments