The fourth annual Duke Arts Festival is set to begin this Friday, October 26, which celebrates the art of Duke students. Now that the festival has established itself in the arts community at Duke, the two-week long event has garnered name recognition for student artists showcasing their pieces.
Scott Lindroth, Vice Provost for the Arts and opening speaker for the festival, expressed excitement over the increased amount of student art submissions.
“We’re beginning to turn a corner,” Lindroth said, noting a particular increase in photography, painting and sculpture submissions.
A unique aspect of the Duke Arts Festival is the Duke Alumni guest list. Among the festival’s more well-known guests include Bryan Unkeless, Trinity ’04, co-producer of The Hunger Games, and Chip Shearin, bass player for The Sugarhill Gang who studied music as an undergraduate at Duke. The alumni will participate in panel discussions and workshops aimed to encourage and further educate students interested in arts-related careers; these visits are organized by the Duke Alumni Association, also responsible for connecting current students and interested alumni. Will Evans, Graduate School ’12 and a representative for the Duke Alumni Association, used to work in the entertainment business and stresses the importance of DEMAN weekend, a section of the festival geared toward presenting different arts professions.
“Careers in the arts take a lot of different forms and DEMAN shows the different types of careers and jobs that you can get in coming from Duke,” Evans said. “DEMAN is a pretty unique event; not a lot of universities have this opportunity, so I hope students take advantage of it.”
Preparation for the festival and invitations for alumni require ample amounts of time. From booking dates to reserving facilities, Lindroth explained that preparation for each upcoming Duke Festival starts around springtime. Each year, after the festival, sponsors evaluate its success.
“We reassess what worked and what could be improved,” Lindroth said. The additions to the festival this year include new panels to hang visual art and a Duke Magazine-sponsored photography contest, with the selected winners published in the magazine.
The Duke Arts Festival, which runs October 26-November 4, will present pieces across campus from the Bryan Center to the von der Heyden Pavilion, bringing the arts community to the forefront of Duke culture.