The Santa Fe University of Art and Design sure knows how to throw a party. Even a rain shower didn’t put a damper on the outdoor event held in the school’s quad.
The event, a kick-off for ArtFest 2012, started with a keynote address from former Hip Hop star (he was a founding member of Public Enemy) and producer at Def Jam Records, Brian Hardgroove. “Music can change the way people relate to each other,” he told the crowd. He encouraged students to, “realize the power of art.” I have to admit, I’m not a Hip Hop fan. It’s a generational thing, I suppose. Hardgroove’s talk impressed me so much I came home and listened to old Public Enemy recordings on my computer. While I haven’t turned into a Hip Hop fan, I did enjoy their powerful political message.
Larry Hinz, President of Santa Fe University of Art and Design President and Santa Fe Mayor, David Coss also spoke to the crowd. Then it was time for BBQ and the evening’s entertainment. The food was great. So good in fact that I had to ask if this is what they serve the students. I remember how bad college food was in my day. I was assured that this feast, which included both ribs and grilled tofu and a lot more, was done by the college’s regular food team.
First on the bill were the Southwestern Intertribal Dancers from Taos.
They were followed by a talented student quartet. They had the crowd dancing in place.
All evening, performers from Santa Fe’s Wise Fool New Mexico performed acrobatics, juggling, stilt walking and more around The Quad.
Wise Fool’s mission is to “ignite imagination, build community, and promote social justice through performances and hands on experiences in the arts of circus, puppetry, and theatre.” Sounds heavy, but in reality, they’re a talented bunch of circus performers. They bring a joy to their audiences.
The all-woman Mariachi Buenaventura had the crowd singing along and dancing. There was even a conga line.
The mariachis led the group down a farolito lit path leading to the Visual Arts Center. Here, the crowd ate dessert and were entertained by projections from Santa Fe University of Art and Design’s Outdoor Vision Fest, held earlier this spring. Local band, Free Range Ramblers ended the evening’s entertainment.
Info on ArtFest:
ArtFest, a three week course at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, runs from July 16th to August 3rd, 2012, that attracted students from 10 countries around the world including Mexico, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Panama, Germany and New Zealand. The program, also open to the community, offers classes in art and design. There are a series of workshops open to the public. For more information, you can contact the Santa Fe University of Art and Design at (800) 456-2673 (505) 473-6011.