As we navigate summer orientation in a pandemic, Arts NC State is reaching out to incoming students and others who’d like to get to know the faces behind the arts programs of Arts NC State. Be sure to visit go.ncsu.edu/arts to check out all we have to offer for your creative experiences at NC State!
We continue our Get to Know Us series with an interview of Rahul Bhat, NC State senior, psychology major, Arts NC State intern, guitarist, and so much more…
How long have you been involved in the arts on campus and what do you do?
I’ve been involved in the arts on campus ever since I arrived at NC State as a freshman. I started out living in the Arts Village where I learned an absolute ton about the arts on campus and the creative community. Through the friends I made and the people I met, I continued pursuing involvement in the arts community by trying to find leadership opportunities and further my own contributions to said community. This led to some amazing opportunities where I’ve been able to work as an intern for Arts NC State, sit on the Friends of Arts NC State Advisory Board as a student representative, teach guitar classes at the Crafts Center, start my own student organization for bands called Amplified Bands Club (which is expanding this fall), take plenty of arts courses and meet some truly amazing artists (among many other things)!
What has been one of your favorite projects you have worked on here?
It’s extremely hard for me to choose a single favorite thing that I’ve worked on; I’ve truly enjoyed being a part of every project and event that I’ve been given the privilege to be a part of! For this reason I’d have to give you two different examples. The first example is when I helped coordinate the joint effort between the Union Activities Board and the Arts Village to host a Halloween carnival as part of the village’s annual haunted house. This was one of the first projects I ever worked on for my internship and was the first time I was given free independence to go ahead with my idea, so it was definitely one of the most memorable!
The second of my favorite projects would have to be working as the guitar technician for the Quadrivium Project. Working for and being a part of the on-campus faculty rock band featuring a bunch of arts faculty and professors (including Executive Director for the Arts Rich Holly!) was quite the experience. As a guitarist aspiring to make it in a band myself, it was a great learning experience and offered a lot of insight into how a performing live band operates backstage. I learned a lot about all of the work and effort that goes into putting on a successful production!
What have you been up to during the pandemic? What shows have you been watching or books have you been reading?
While I know that quarantine has put a huge strain on everyone, I’ve seen a lot of people really make an effort to connect/reconnect to their creative side to keep some level of sanity. I think that’s no different for me; I’ve been trying my best to hone my skills on my instrument and work on my music production abilities. This is a great opportunity for people who want to start getting into making music to learn how to use digital audio workstations (DAWs). Subsequently, this has had me pouring over YouTube tutorials and online articles about a whole range of things related to music production, such as how best to write and produce programmed drums all the way to learning the best guitar recording techniques for at-home production. Aside from my creative endeavors, I’ve spent a decent amount of time playing video games and listening to new music, of course!
Have you watched any art performances or concerts online? Which ones?
In the current situation that we are all in right now, I think it’s more important than ever to support our favorite artists! For that reason, I’ve tried my best to catch as many live shows of my favorite bands and musicians as I can. Almost all artists that I follow (musical and not) have live-streamed or uploaded some kind of content during quarantine and I would recommend to anyone that has free time to tune into these streams live, or watch them afterward. After all, depending on the platform, it could be a great time to actually get in a word and interact with your favorite artists! If you don’t know which artists are streaming or you’re looking at discovering new artists streaming their work, I highly recommend checking out the “Music & Performing Arts” section on Twitch! I’ve recently watched several online concerts and educational streams on there from artists I’ve never heard of before.
What advice would you give to an incoming student about getting involved with the arts at NC State?
If I was to have any advice for incoming students trying to get involved in the arts on campus, it would be this—just go for it! Most of the artistic opportunities presented on campus don’t require too much prior experience or commitment and are intentionally designed to be extremely easily accessible. For that reason, I don’t think anyone should ever be worried about signing up to participate in something creative or artistic on campus.
I highly recommend trying whatever art or experience interests you and just running with it! Even if you don’t like it or find that it’s not for you, you can easily disengage in that art form and pick up something else instead. Your time at NC State is probably going to be your absolute best chance to explore creative opportunities, so try to make the fullest use of all the resources that Arts NC State and the campus community provide!