Launch Party artistic success

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Students at KSPU worked on pieces of their own with materials provided by the event. Thurston Johnson / The Falcon

Andrew Stez

KSPU and Lingua make a creative space

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Students at KSPU worked on pieces of their own with materials provided by the event. Thurston Johnson |The Falcon

As students walked into the KSPU and Lingua Launch Party, they were greeted by music, ranging from hip-hop to rock, courtesy of KSPU.

There were crowds standing in line for the complimentary snacks and large golden balloons spelling out “KSPU” towering above people as they danced to the music. In the corner on a table were beautifully designed zines of past student photos, illustrations, paintings and poems.

To put it simply: creativity was everywhere at the KSPU and Lingua Launch Party. This was by design.

Lingua and KSPU, as stated by Geneva Lehnert, Lingua’s Editor, “are both student media groups,” which means that both are organizations that help students get involved in music and art.

For Lingua, helping students get involved with art means, “producing two journals this year filled with student work,” which “allows students to see their work in print,” according to Lehnert.

This mission to provide an outlet to exercise their creativity through Lingua’s journals seems to be shared with KSPU.

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Claire Conway performed her songs at KSPU. Thurston Johnson / The Falcon

“KSPU truly exists for the students,” Taylor Muñoz, KSPU’s Studio Manager, said.

“Everything we do is to be a creative outlet for the students. Whether it’s having a talk show, writing for the blog, being a DJ or getting free tickets, we just want to make your life happier and better.”

This purpose to give people a chance to exercise their creativity has another part to it.

“We basically just want to unite SPU with music and just really get people involved,” Analyn Grasz, the Events Coordinator for KSPU, said.

To get SPU students involved with music, KSPU invited two performers to the event to showcase their talents.

The first performer was Claire Conway, who walked up with her acoustic guitar and started to sing songs she described as “sad songs.”

However, these so-called “sad songs” only brought joy to the audience with everyone in the crowd bobbing their heads to the music; some audience members even mouthed the lyrics to themselves.

The tone of the room shifted when SPU student Aurelio Valdez bounced onto the stage. After a brief introduction, he began rapping and the audience began to wave their hands in the air and cheer.

He talked about his identity as a Mexican-American. He discussed how his songs help him cope with being different from the predominantly white population at SPU. He described the struggle of his ancestors with the Europeans when they took their lands and how it related to his culture’s current strifes in society.

Similarly to Valdez’s purpose for writing his music, when talking to Lehnert from Lingua, she stated her view on art’s purpose:

“[Art] depends on the maker’s purpose because some of the most important art happens just between the maker and the art,” Lehnert said. “It’s never really seen beyond that whether it’s therapeutic or calming or meditative self-reflective time, and if that’s as far as it goes, that’s super important in itself.”

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Aurelio Valdez was rapping at KSPU with his music inspired by his Mexican ethnicity. Thurston Johnson / The Falcon

Both of these artistic people have a passion for music and used their music as a creative outlet.

While the performers entertained the crowds, in one of the many classrooms in the SPU Art Center, other people were using their imagination in a very different way.

At one of the many long tables stood people using black markers to black out words in old texts such as Shakespeares’ plays and bringing new life to these texts through blackout poetry.

On the other side of the room were people etching patterns into little gray rubber squares. Then they took ink, rolled it onto the blocks and then stamped these beautiful patterns onto a piece of paper in a process called block printing.
This event brimmed with artistry. It was clear that everyone had a great experience.

“It’s awesome. It’s really cool,” first-year Eric Peterson said. “They have a lot of stuff going on. It’s really well organized and the performance was really great.”

Whether it was audience members bobbing their heads to KSPU’s performers or making beautiful poems and stamps in the other room, it was clear that many people shared Eric Peterson’s enthusiasm for the KSPU and Lingua Launch Party and the creativity it spurred.