Manifest 2011 Preview gives sample of what’s to come

By Samuel Charles

Columbia’s Office of Student Affairs, in coordination with the Arts, Entertainment and Media Management Department, presented a sample of the student work that will be showcased at Manifest 2011 on May 13.

Four musical acts—three bands and a disc jockey—took the stage at the 1104 Center, 1104 S. Wabash Ave., with hopes of garnering excitement for Columbia’s annual urban arts festival.

A class taught by Mecca Perry, who is associated with concert and festival promotion and internship management in the AEMM Department, was responsible for organizing the preview. The evening went perfectly according to plan, Perry said.

“On a scale of one to 10, it’s a 10,” Perry said. “It turned out great. The class and I were asked to create a lively event that highlighted the various aspects of Manifest. Mission accomplished.”

To fully develop the preview plans, Perry’s students had to work in conjunction with other departments, including the Music Department.

Bands that played included Idealist, an eight-piece pop-jazz fusion group that featured two drummers, and Boom Goes The Globe, a house techno-heavy metal duo. The primary DJ from Boom Goes The Globe performed the entire set wearing a makeshift astronaut’s suit while the drummer wore a gas mask.

Musical acts performed that evening. However, the diversity of the bands was representative of Columbia as a whole, said Mark Kelly, vice president of Student Affairs.

“Hundreds of students have auditioned through the Student Programming Board to try to get their work on the main stage [at Manifest],” Kelly said. “That musical talent isn’t just in the Music Department, it’s throughout the college. I think that’s emblematic of the overall creativity.”

Many students outside the Music Department used the Manifest preview as an opportunity to market themselves and organizations. There were tables set up to attract volunteers for Manifest and sell Columbia students’ work.

Joe Locastro, senior interactive arts and media major, also took the stage to promote the graduating seniors’ project, “The Warden of Raal.” The seniors have worked continuously on the project throughout the academic year.

“We’ve worked on this game really hard for the last year and a half,” Locastro said. “We have some of the best looking artwork I’ve ever seen in a student project.”

Back on stage, Kelly—clad in his Manifest2011 shirt—also played a short drum solo to show his enthusiasm. Before his solo, Kelly roused the audience by celebrating Columbia as “the greatest college in the world.” He later added that Manifest is the day all seniors’ work comes to fruition.

“The talent of our students, their creativity and stunning bodies work are incredible,” he said. “Manifest is the day when it all becomes real and comes to life.”