Columbia finds creative director to ‘animate’ Manifest 2016

Cassidy Kapson, a senior design major and creative director of the 2016 Manifest Urban Arts Festival, said she wants to “electrify and energize” the focus on students and the vibe of Columbia with the theme, “animate.”

By Campus Reporter

Cassidy Kapson, a senior design major, has been named the creative director of the 2016 Manifest Urban Arts Festival, Columbia’s annual end-of-the-year showcase celebrating student work set for May 13, 2016.

The college community selected Kapson through a collegewide vote that closed Nov. 17. She will be in charge of implementing the celebration’s visual theme “animate” into the festival and increasing recognition of the event citywide. Ashley Wolfgang, content coordinator in the Office of Student Communications, said Kapson won the contest with a total of 667 votes.

According to Wolfgang, there was a voting increase this year with a total of 1,143 votes, compared with 1,058 votes for last year’s creative director.

Kapson said much of her work in illustration is visual problem-solving and the communication of concepts through art. She said a lot of her classes have focused on having a solid concept or theme and bringing it through with imagery.

Kapson said she thinks people will better relate to Manifest’s artwork if there is a solid concept and planning behind it. 

“The creative energy and the motivation I see with people in [Columbia’s] different departments is a unified thing that can pull through and connect everyone. I have seen such amazing energy in every area of study,” Kapson said.

The creative director serves as the voice and face of each year’s Manifest festival, Wolfgang said.

“I think [Kapson] will have the ability to transform this look of Manifest by using a lot of color and things she is passionate about,” Wolfgang said. “Bringing the college’s passions to life is really what the creative director’s role and ability is.”

Julide Belen, a graphic design assistant for the Office of Student Communications, said the office will work closely with Kapson to apply her vision and designs throughout the various parts of the festival.

“[If there is] anything this year’s creative director might think of that has never been thought of before, we are very open to making that vision come true,” Belen said.

Kari Sommers, associate dean of Student Life, said she works with academic departments and senior administrators to oversee Manifest’s production and ensure it is meeting the goals and objectives of the festival for both students and the institution.

“It is the students’ festival,” Sommers said. “I think that is what makes it unique. Most college festivals are a band and a couple of amusement rides. Manifest is the exact antithesis of that. Our students have their hands in every part of the event.”

Shannon Bourne, assistant director of Student Activities, said she thinks this year’s theme of “animate” is more external than last year’s theme of “focus.”

“We want to encourage others to work together within the community,” Bourne said. “[We want to] animate our campus, animate our showcases and make it very lively. I think [this year’s theme] is more community-oriented.”