There is no better way to celebrate the advent of spring than with art and food. Tomorrow, the Student Activities Office will bring to us the inaugural First Friday Celebration to kick off Swarthmore’s Spring Arts Celebration.
First Friday Events aren’t uncommon in many US cities. Philadelphia’s First Friday is one of Philly’s most vital and signature events, with streets filled with art lovers and foodies. When talking about why the Student Activities Office (SAO) decided to organize such an event at Swarthmore, Mike Elias, the student activities coordinator, said, “A lot of communities host First Fridays during the spring and summer months and they serve as a time for folks to enjoy their town, take-in the warm weather, check-out some art.”
“The purpose of First Friday is to kick-off the Spring Arts Celebration with an awesome showcase of some of our amazing art based student groups we have on-campus”, Elias added. Unlike in previous years, this year’s Spring Arts Celebration has expanded to one month long, and the First Friday Celebration can give the community a glimpse of some of the great performances that will be occurring on-campus throughout the month of April, such as Tamagawa Taiko Drumming and Toni Morrison Lecture and Reading.
There will be four groups of performers in the Friday event: Our Art Spoken in Soul (OASIS), Terpsichore, Mariachi Band, and Verti-Go-Go. All four groups applied in early February and were formally accepted to perform in the event. OASIS is the spoken word poetry group on campus. Terpsichore is a student-run dance group. Verti-Go-Go is a student group that improvises comedy.
Since it is the first time SAO has organized such an event, the difficulty lies in integrating the different parts of the event. “We had to put a lot of thought into how we could organize the event so guests can utilize the food trucks, watch student performances, and make their way into Beardsley,” explained Elias. In Friday, all art studios will be open for visits and artwork by students will also be displayed there.
Junior and senior workshops will also be open on that day, allowing visitors to take a look at art majors’ end of year projects. In addition to the art work display, visitors will also be able to see videos presenting the work by art history students and talk about art with professors and art history students who will be there explaining their projects.
Similar to other First Friday events, Swarthmore’s celebration will feature several food options. The famed food trucks will be out on the Science Center quad in the afternoon. Hobbs will also be hosting its second annual Hot Dog Jamboree. Delicious food, talented performers, and access to the work-in-progress of Swarthmore’s most gifted artists are sure to make for an exciting event.