New location chosen for Manifest 2017

By Ariana Portalatin, Campus Editor

File Photo
Columbia’s Manifest Urban Arts Festival will be held this year along Wabash Avenue between 9th and 11th streets.

To improve the Manifest experience and avoid potential construction, Columbia has chosen a new location for its annual Manifest Urban Arts festival, as announced in a Feb. 21 email to students.

The college’s largest annual gathering, scheduled for May 13, is typically held between Congress Parkway and Roosevelt Road. This year, according to the announcement, the main area of the festival will be condensed between 9th and 11th streets.

“We used to do most of our festival in the parking lot across the street from 916 S. Wabash, [but] they’re actually going to be constructing a building there in the future,” said Shannon Bourne, assistant director of Student Activities and Manifest producer. “We don’t know when, so we figured now is a good time to switch up the format and try something new.”

According to Bourne, the new location will make the size of the festival smaller, but will not effect the activities and performances normally part of the event.

“The festival is going to have the same elements we had in the main lot, just more consolidated. It’s going to make it feel more festive and active all day long,” Bourne said.

The Mainstage tent for the festival will be located on 11th Street, and student organization tents will be located on the west side of Wabash Avenue, with food trucks from around the city on the east side of Wabash Avenue, Bourne said.

Director of Communications for the Student Programming Board and sophomore business & entrepreneurship major Elana Schmidt said the new location will add to the festival’s community feeling.

“It will give off a more community vibe [because] Columbia’s working together in this smaller space,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt added that she hopes students take advantage of the opportunities the festival offers.

“It’s a chance for people to emerge and show their talent,” Schmidt said. “If they take that opportunity, then they will get the full experience of Manifest.”

Bourne said the location change will allow more interaction between attendees and allow for easier navigation through the more crowded areas.

Emily Veldman, a first-year graduate student in the Business & Entrepreneurship Department and member of the Manifest student team, said the location will add cohesiveness to the event and make it more festive.

“Going from the parade and Great Convergence to the festival, it’s going to be a lot more smoother of a transition and keep it festive,” Veldman said.

Veldman is charged with finding 115 volunteers to help with the festival, Bourne said.

“The whole festival is student-driven, student-produced and that’s really an important part,” Bourne said. “It is the involvement we wanted from students all along.”

Junior business & entrepreneurship major and Student Programming Board President Jake Dagit agreed and said he is expecting the smaller venue to create a more centralized event.

“This change brings the focus and clarity to the things that we really find important about Manifest,” Dagit said.