Mike Rosen ’11 took advantage of our call for submissions over Winter Break and let us know about his efforts at setting up a show this week at Psi U. Here’s the story:
This summer, working for The Fader, it dawned on me that I liked bringing people together and helping them have a good time. So, at one of our events I introduced myself to the three artists that I had just witnessed turn a chill event into a bumping party. The first artist I approached, Wildabeast, a longhaired emcee who raps to Portishead samples and calls himself the “hood-hippie”—if there was anyone in the room who could definitely relate to a Wes student, it was Wil—introduced me to Sixth Sense and Jelani. So began my life moonlighting as a concert and event promoter. This would be the first time I would do an event by myself, or so I thought.
Rather, what I thought would be an independent project soon morphed into a truly Wesleyan story. As a transfer student, I was welcomed with open arms (in true Wes fashion) into a new community for which the school provided ample resources. My RA, for example, was the first person I talked to about my hopes of bringing these musicians to Wes, and he took a lot of time to explain everything to me about policies and procedures. Leaders of student groups were more than happy to meet with me to talk about their experiences, and ICBM allowed me to file an SBC request under their name. The SBC members then walked me through the proposal process… I was enthralled with my new environment. This was what I had come to Wesleyan for: people who were down to make things happen, and for the resources to actually follow through.
As with all Wesleyan stories, it wasn’t the institutions (the groups, group officials, etc.) but the individuals that really gave form to this project. Sure, a number of people offered help because it was their job, but they were excited, they asked me questions, and they got involved. My RA helped me get money from ResLife for the show. Everyone who found out about it seemed excited and happy for me. From the get-go, I had a core group of kids who agreed to help out as a street team of sorts, even though most of them didn’t even know the artists!
The thing is, people at Wesleyan love art, especially music. But, perhaps what we love even more is the very fact that people love art, no matter what kind of art it is. In other words, it’s the practice of taking joy in art—even if it’s not necessarily our “bag of tricks”—because we know that other people enjoy it the same way we enjoy the art forms we like. This proved itself as people began offering their help. One person offered to write an article, another to help with posters, and so on. And it was Wesleyan’s talented student-body that came to my aid when I needed an opening act.
I’m thrilled to say that the event is finally set. On Jan. 23 I will be bringing three of my favorite artists, Sixth Sense, Wildabeast, and Jelani to Psi U, with an opening set by Chrome Punch. This project has weaved its way through Wesleyan, and a lot of hands helped to form this final product… and all on their own accord in the name of art. Thank you, Wesleyan!