This pandemic might keep us physically apart, but the arts are still engaging students at NC State. As part of our Get to Know Us series, Arts NC State will be featuring spotlight articles on some of our student art organizations. We kick it off by getting to know the Arts Club. For more information on the six visual and performing arts programs of Arts NC State, visit go.ncsu.edu/arts and sign up for our emails!
Tell us how the Arts Club started?
Khalil Harrison (KH): The club came to be in the summer of 2019 when Sabrina and I met and came up with the idea of creating a new club that catered to all mediums of art.
Sabrina Hurtado (SH): After some months of work and planning early in the fall semester, we were officially registered as a club in November of 2019. Since then we have gone from six initial members to 90 members on our mailing list!
Who are the club leaders and what are your backgrounds?
The club leaders are Khalil Harrison (co-president), Sabrina Hurtado (co-president), Addy Burrow (treasurer), Noelle Robinson (secretary), and Alisa Andrews (social media manager). Khalil Harrison is a senior majoring in visual arts, Sabrina Hurtado is a sophomore majoring in arts studies with a visual arts concentration and minoring in arts entrepreneurship, Addy Burrow a sophomore majoring in arts studies with a concentration in visual arts and minoring in arts entrepreneurship, Noelle Robinson a sophomore majoring in environmental design in architecture and minoring in horticulture studies and landscape architecture, and Alisa Andrews is a sophomore double majoring in agricultural science and science, technology, and society.
What kinds of projects have the club done so far?
KH: So far we have hosted monthly meetings, Mental Health Mondays, invited special guests to lead discussions on a topic of their choosing (Artist Talks), and a club playlist on Spotify.
SH: We have also been paying closer attention to how we can share information online. Alisa Andrews, our Social Media Manager, has kept our social media presence active and engaging to further build our online community. Noelle Robinson, our secretary, has created a newsletter to keep our members informed of activities going on at NC State within the arts so they can continue growing in the arts from home.
How have you switched gears for the pandemic?
KH: We have switched everything to virtual. Meaning that all of the meetings that we would usually host in person are all online via Zoom like our monthly club meetings, Artist Talks, and Mental Health Mondays.
SH: The best thing that we did was plan our events as if we were going to have to transfer everything online. That mindset allowed us to quickly adjust when we were sent home and continue to provide opportunities and art events for our members.
What do you have in the works?
KH: What we have in the works is a way to do virtual collaborative art projects, showcases, and critiques.
SH: Before the pandemic, we used to host critique days to showcase our art and host student-led workshops. Now, we are brainstorming how we can transfer these events to an online format for our members. Our goal is to make our members not only feel included in the arts, but become leaders of the arts. Soon we are hoping to give them a platform to showcase their talents and put themselves out there to continue growing in their fields.
What were some of the challenges and rewards of creating a club?
KH: A challenge we faced was having to switch from meeting in person frequently to all virtual in the matter of weeks. A reward from all of this is that it gave us time to come up with unique ideas to excel the club virtually.
SH: One of the challenges we’ve had in the past is attempting to implement all the great ideas and feedback our members give us with the limited resources we have. I am hoping in the future we have enough financial backing and connections with artists and faculty to give our members more of what they want and increase engagement in our club. Recently, since everything has moved online, it has been an extra challenge trying to make new members feel included in the arts community and engaged in the arts when all our activities are through a monitor. However, the biggest reward of it all is all the wonderfully talented and hard-working creatives I get to meet and the responses we have gotten on how the Arts Club has given them opportunities, introduced them to new friends, and opened the gateway for new passions and hobbies. It reminds me that Khalil and I built this club to serve and amplify the arts community at NC State.
What else do you want us to know?
KH: This Club is run by individuals who are very passionate about the arts. We’re like a big family full of creatives who push and support one another constantly to be the best artists we can possibly be.
SH: Everyone is welcomed to join our club! We encourage students from all disciplines to join our club and explore how they can further their intellectual and creative development through the Arts Club at NC State. You can follow us on Instagram @ncsuarts to get reminders of our events and get to know our creative community!