Columbia celebrates with first in-person Manifest since 2019

By Bianca Kreusel, Deputy Director of Photography

Live music, bouncy castles and tarot readings all set the tone for Columbia’s first in-person Manifest since 2019. Celebration filled the air as students enjoyed food trucks, dancing, performing, creating and exhibiting art.

Columbia’s graduating seniors marched down Wabash Avenue toward “The Big Lot,” located at 609 S. State St., led by the Jones College Prep marching band and the Columbia Renegades Dance Team, where Manifest was then kicked off by the Columbia band Paige and the Kizers.

“Whether it’s graduating students or family or friends, there’s just a real wonderful energy,” said Kwang-Wu Kim, president and CEO of Columbia College Chicago. “We all need that.”

Manifest kicked off at 1 p.m. and ran until 8 p.m., with different students performing at The Big Lot, including Tandrea Hawkins, otherwise known as “T-Star Verse,” and Big Mouth winner Josh Trimble, a junior music major, who opened up for this year’s headliner Dreamer Isioma.

ManiFresh, a student-run event from the Hip-Hop Studies program, was held in the parking lot located at 643 S. Wabash Ave. The event featured DJ Evan Dawkins and singer Evyn, as well as multiple shops selling crystals, custom-made shirts and hats. ManiFresh focused on the deep hip-hop culture and history within Columbia and Chicago.

Department showcases filled with the work of graduating students were held campuswide, including showcases at the Student Center, 754 S. Wabash Ave., and in Columbia’s gallery spaces.

Jayde Kern, a graduating senior, was celebrating her first Manifest and said she loved seeing the work from all Columbia students.

“It’s really cool seeing the performances,” Kern said. “I like how it’s so open and everyone can go everywhere and hang out.”