Kitao organized a board game night Friday for the frisky few who felt like having fun.
The appointed time came and then the people did, the repurposed fraternity illuminated with soft but sufficient lighting, its walls reverberating with the sounds of a Motown playlist curated by Amal Sagal ’19. Students played Mousetrap until they realized their set was missing several critical parts. Others tried to figure out the rules to a card game with cards that were just identical drawings of cats. Several rounds of competitive team charades were presided over by charades master Dan Bidikov ’19. A match of Mafia was also conducted, presided over by mafia god Nick Barton ’19 .
Kitao board member Celine Anderson ’19 explained that the event was a new idea for KItao that emerged out of a larger effort to use their space to facilitate events that build community on campus through the diverse – though not always interconnected – arts community.
“Lots of different students are involved in the arts on campus, though they do not necessarily know each other. With board games you can’t act like you’re too cool; you need to embrace the situation enthusiastically,” said Anderson.
Anderson also noted that the hot chocolate and fancy cookies Kitao provided to guests drew people to the happening and pointed out that the art from first-year student showcase was still tastefully displayed in a gallery now also filled with chairs, both the metal and bean-bag kinds.
Board member of Kitao Maral Gaeeni ’18 talked to our reporter while she tried to finagle the mousetrap set together before finally relenting.
“I think this went really well. I was really happy with the turnout,” she said.
Indeed, one of the most notable aspects of the event was the rate at which people unfamiliar with each other introduced themselves and mingled with others in the ongoing activity. Groups of friends and even solo individuals arrived, usually with smiles on their faces, and began participating in whatever was going on or else conversing with the other people around them. As friends separated from each other to go to other engagements that evening, it became clear that no one was very familiar with each other but everyone was acting genuinely friendly.
Scribbling furiously, Bobby Pileggi ’21 had his nose deep in a spiral bound notebook, with his ballpoint in hand, sitting on the floor of kitao. Pileggi had never previously attended an event at Kitao, and while not particularly participating in the board games, he gave our reporter the below poem he wrote in the creatively conducive environment that was the night of the board games.
“He thought he was destined to be an honest and a great man, not an artist (not because artists are not great, but because they’re not honest), though possessing artistic abilities, optimistic, cheerful and brave and powerfully intelligent, extraordinarily nice and gentle in all domicile-based interactions, purely motivated, loyal in friendship, abiding in love and possessing qualities especially endearing to little children and old women.”
Pileggi’s poem along with the thriving events that have been happening at Kitao indicates the improved engagement on the part of creative swarthmore students with the larger campus arts community. The participatory events Kitao has been holding, first the tote bag decorating celebration and now this creative genius of a participatory arts event, it seems like many happy events will continue to grace the gallery of Kitao this semester and beyond.