Black Student Union hosts arts festival

By Olivia Seecof

Writer

The Black Student Union’s 2011 Black Arts Festival began on Thursday and will continue until Sunday. The Festival includes dance, theater and music performances as well as a Block Party, fashion show and much more.

The Black Arts Festival is a University tradition that has been celebrated for generations by both the University and Lewisburg communities. This event was successfully resurrected last year by the members of the Black Student Union, and this year they want to expand its scope.

“I’m really excited about this year’s festival. I thought last year’s festival was a success and I’m certain that this year’s will be even better,” Whitney Jerome ’13 said.

The planning took much work, but the members of the BSU are extremely excited for the event.

“Planning the festival has been a wonderful experience though tiring at times. Despite some obstacles and occasional setbacks, our organization stood firm to its commitment to host an engaging and dynamic festival for the campus and its community,” Bryan Coleman ’11 said.

A major highlight of this year’s Black Arts Festival is the professor and Grammy-winning keynote speaker Patrick Douthit, better known as 9th Wonder. 9th Wonder began his career as the main producer for the hip-hop group Little Brother and has also worked with other hip-hop artists such as Mary J. Blige, Lil’ Wayne, Jay-Z and Destiny’s Child. As of 2010, 9th Wonder raps under the name of 9thmatic.

“I’m a huge fan of Little Brother so the fact that 9th Wonder will be here is pretty exciting,” Jerome said. He is passionate about educating others on the history and origin of hip-hop in order to sustain this genre of art. His keynote address will be taking place in Rooke Auditorium tonight from 7-9 p.m.

A dance workshop co-sponsored by the Bisonettes will be held in the Elaine Langone Center Room today from 3-4 p.m. and will cover African, Caribbean and hip-hop dance techniques.

“The Bisonettes are a majorette group scheduled to perform during football half time, but when the black Student Union called for performers in the Black Arts Festival, the Bisonettes were happy to answer the call,” Raissa Sorgho ’14 said. “After many hours of practice, sweat and choreography, we are eager to make our debut at the Black Arts Festival.”

Another highlight of the Black Arts Festival is the Block Party, co-sponsored by BAP, Caribbean Club, Greek Affairs and OHLAS. On Smith Quad tomorrow from 1:30-4:30 p.m. the Block Party will be blasting the sounds of live performances.

“From my view, the Block Party is the culmination of bringing together all members of the campus for a celebration of community, arts and fun,” Coleman said.

There will also be inflatables, food, memorabilia for sale and a step show competition. This event is taking place on Admitted Students Day, so even future students can get involved.

“The entire weekend is going to be fantastic and the fact that we get to share it with accepted students makes it that much more special,” Jerome said.

The Black Arts Festival will come to a close with the much anticipated BASA (Bucknell African Students Association) Bash located in Larison Dining Hall on Sunday from 12-3 p.m. This event will feature different traditional activities such as dancing, hair braiding and bracelet making.

“Seeing how invested your friends are at keeping their culture alive, even at a place as far away as Bucknell is something amazing that I loved being a part of [at last year’s BASA Bash],” Sarah Dubow ’13 said.

Other events today include the “Back to the Root” Poetry Slam and the freestyle rap and beat-boxing battle. Tomorrow there will be the ceremony honoring Professor Hilbourne Watson and Professor Linden Lewis, the “Runaway: The Fashion Experience” show and the “Fade to Black” after-party.

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