By Jason Mount
Rider celebrates the arts once again with the Artbeast festival on May 3.
The theme for the sixth iteration of Artbeast is “Greenbeast,” according to senior arts administration major Elizabeth Smith.
“It’s focused on the intersection of art, culture and sustainability,” Smith said.
While coming up with the festival’s theme year after year can be a challenge, the creative team behind Artbeast had no trouble thinking of this year’s theme.
“The class unanimously came to the decision to use this theme because of how relevant it is with what is going on in the world today,” Smith said.
With the theme chosen, the class started organizing numerous activities for students to partake in. This year’s Artbeast will include activities like live music, mandala making, henna tattoos, t-shirt tye-dying, free food and more, Smith explained.
With event planning comes challenges, however, and the Artbeast creative team found bumps in the road while figuring out what activities to include.
“The biggest challenge we’ve faced with the preparation of Greenbeast has been finding ways to keep the activities eco-friendly and exciting,” Smith said.
Melody Marshall, senior arts administration major, is also a part of the festival’s creative team and found similar struggles with keeping the “green” in “Greenbeast.”
“Most of the challenges this year were really trying to make everything sustainable as well as affordable,” Marshall said. “There was also a challenge in making sure it was still a fun arts activity that students on campus would be interested in.”
Along with the challenges, the Artbeast team also encountered a few highlights in the creative process.
“The biggest highlight so far is seeing all of it come together and hearing people talk about it and tell me that they’re excited to see what we bring to Artbeast this year,” Marshall said. “I’ve also really enjoyed getting to work with this team. We all get along really well and are all friends outside of the class which makes this whole process so much easier. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be if we didn’t work so well together.”
For Smith, the best part of Artbeast was learning how to put it all together.
“Working on this year’s festival has been a great opportunity for the class to learn about event planning. We’ve also had the opportunity to collaborate with other organizations on campus such as the eco-reps and the Office of Sustainability,” Smith said.
Sophomore musical theatre major and Eco-Rep Emma Harris explained the role that the eco-reps played in ArtBeast’s formation.
“We shared some ideas with them, like the Trashion Show, that we had come up with earlier in the year but were unable to find a place for,” Harris said.
For Harris, the biggest challenge came with communication and collaborating ideas with such a large number of people.
“The class in charge of planning the event and the Eco-Rep team includes a lot of people, so sometimes it gets to be difficult to sit down and have a meeting of the minds,” Harris said. “But overall I think we have worked really well together and I can’t wait to see what comes this collaboration in the future.”
Harris believes the environmentally-friendly aspect of this year’s festival will have a positive impact on ArtBeasts to come, and she cannot wait to see how it comes to fruition.
“The aspects we’ve been working on and planning are so innovative in the ways that they can highlight the creativity and expression of our student body without compromising our environmental impact,” Harris said.
Smith is hoping Rider’s students look forward to this year’s Artbeast for all the reasons they have loved previous years.
“Students should get excited for Greenbeast because it’s going to be a truly exciting event with lots of activities, live music and so much more.” Smith said.
Published in the 5/1/19 issue of The Rider News.