Stevenson University is committed to providing students with opportunities to grow and expand their knowledge, such as developing initiatives that promote some of these opportunities, including fine arts.
Stevenson’s Arts Alive! initiative was first introduced in 2019 in order to raise awareness of the importance of the arts and creativity through special events such as guest speakers, exhibits and performances. Most recently, the program featured Kevin Olusola, a member of the popular a cappella group Pentatonix, who met with members of the Stevenson community on Feb. 25.
Originally planned as an in-person event in April 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic postponed Olusola’s appearance until this year, where he was able to give a virtual performance and answer questions from the audience.
“We knew that we wanted to do a hallmark event for Arts Alive!,” said Amanda Hostalka, the Dean for the School of Design, as well as an organizer of the Arts Alive! initiative. “We were trying to figure out who we could bring to campus that would have a lot of notoriety and would garner excitement for the students.” With three Grammy Awards under his belt, Olusola seemed to be the perfect choice.
Student Activities worked alongside Arts Alive! to make this event happen. “It’s really important to mention that this event was a collaboration with Arts Alive! and Student Activities,” said Hostalka. “It was really a partnership between Arts Alive! and Student Activities.”
The virtual event, held via BlueJeans, drew over 100 members of the community to watch Olusola’s performance and ask questions. “I was really surprised about the turnout,” said student Lauryn Davis, who was in attendance at the event. “The support was definitely there so I’m glad everyone turned out to show support,” said Davis about the overall participation of the SU community.
Through his performance and the answers he provided to the audience’s questions, Olusola explained the importance of creativity for everyone, not just artists. “He was very inspiring,” said Davis. “He was talking about [music] allowing [individuals] to release their creativity, so I think it was very applicable to everyone.”
Arts Alive! events are not limited to music. Other components of the initiative include exhibitions, theatre productions, coffee house events, literary and creative writing events, and more that can be found on their website.
The next Arts Alive! event will be held on March 25 beginning at 8:00 p.m. and ending at 9:00 p.m. This will be a virtual coffee house event focusing on honoring Women’s History Month, and it was planned with help from the Center for Diversity & Inclusion. More information can be found here.