Looking Forward: APG Presents

Hey arts, ink readers!

Happy Friday! I hope you’ve all had a chance to recharge over the break, whether you celebrated Turkey Day or not. The holidays look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the best out of them and still find ways to connect to friends and family (albeit virtually). 

This week I had the chance to talk to Katie Lorenz, a member of APG (Arbor Promotion Group) Presents, about how the org is adapting to the year as well as how she views the arts scene on campus acclimating to the health and safety guidelines. Read on to learn more!

Founded in 2018, APG Presents is one of the more recent groups to enter the music scene on campus. They have two main focuses: producing and promoting live events, and helping students in the organization with professional development. In a typical year, they help put on shows at Necto and other venues around campus, bring in speakers from the industry to talk to members of their organization or the larger UofM community, and help with resumes, internship searches, and interview prep. They currently have over 50 members, with leadership opportunities for those interested in learning more hands-on about the industry. 

This year, APG Presents has had to pivot, as all of us have, but they’ve done a great job of maintaining much of their usual programming. They’ve moved their weekly meetings to be virtual, as well as their professional development programs. Their live music events have also been moved virtual, but have been able to shift to include things like artist Q&As as well. Katie explained that, although it’s obviously a bummer that they can’t all be together and produce their normal concerts, there have been bright sides to the changes, too. “Virtual experiences do a great job for [these] events of bringing people to us who might not have been able to, like, fly to us directly, people all across the world… So I think that’s been working in our favor kind of this year.” If you’ve read other posts from Looking Forward, this is a theme that a lot of people have come to notice over the pandemic – the musical theatre department, the Shapiro Design Lab, and now APG Presents. The limitations of geographical barriers seem to be non-existent now, and it will be interesting to see if that trend continues once things start returning to “normal”. 

I also asked Katie to share her thoughts on the state of the arts on campus right now. She told me that she sees creativity and the

10/1/20 UMMA Ibrahim Mahama Exhibit installation (via UMMA website)

way that arts organizations on campus have expressed themselves during this time as being really interesting – people are finding new ways to commit to their ideas and what they stand for. One example she brought up is the UMMA showing support for the Black Lives Matter Movement. If you’ve walked by the UMMA recently, you may have noticed that half of it is covered in stitched-together canvas sacks. This is by artist Ibrahim Mahama and is meant to “[celebrate] the often-invisible labor of Black and brown people behind global exchange and commerce while acknowledging the troubling histories of colonialism and slavery in the Western world,” (from the UMMA website). Personally, I found this interesting because although I had walked by this installation many times, I didn’t really understand what it was saying. Katie’s comment reminded me that there is always something to uncover about the arts on campus, always something new to experience, and that gives me a lot of hope for the year ahead. 

If you’d like to learn more about APG Presents and stay up-to-date on their future events, be sure to follow their Instagram @APGPresents and their LinkedIn page. If you’re interested in joining the organization, you can email Talia Rizika at trizika@umich.edu

If you wanna read more about the UMMA installation I mentioned, you can check it out here

 

That’s all from me this week. I hope you have an amazing rest of your week and stay safe! 

Lucy

Study Hal: Week 28 – Cabin Camping

To start the break off right, Hal took a trip to northern Michigan this weekend. He stayed in a cabin with Sparky. Of course, he followed public health procedures in any remotely public spaces, but in the off-season, the campground was practically abandoned. The unseasonably warm weather, though, meant that Hal could be outside all he wanted. Isn’t it neat to watch the sunrise over a lake?

Hal hasn’t slept outside of his childhood bed since January. It’s weird for a college student to stay in the same place for so long, isn’t it? Hal and I agree, though, that we’d rather be feeling weird staying put than putting others at risk by moving around.

Hal, Sparky, and I would like to wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving! Remember to take care of your mind and body over the break, even if that means eating some comfort food and catching up on homework. 🙂

If you’re new here, Hal is a U-M student who’s been studying remotely since January, and who will be remote next semester, too! If you’d like to see more, come back next Tuesday, or search the “Study Hal” tag for more.

Looking Forward: MUSIC Matters

Happy Friday, arts, ink!

I hope you’ve been getting through the week alright – we’re practically on break already! Today I wanted to talk to you guys a little bit about MUSIC Matters, a student organization on campus that I am fortunate enough to be co-president for this year. 

MUSIC Matters’ mission is to utilize the unifying power of music to drive social impact in the community. This is usually achieved through a variety of events each year, including local talent showcases, battle of the band competitions, and our capstone April event, SpringFest, which features live music, food trucks, student organizations, corporate activations, and more. In addition to these events, MUSIC Matters spearheads three of their own social ventures: the CoMMunity Partnership grant program, the Michigan Overnight Experience for Detroit-area highschoolers and the Big Thinkers Scholarship.

In response to the context of the past few months, MUSIC Matters has adjusted much of its programming. Over the summer, we made donations to the Henry Ford Hospital and to a campaign through another student organization, Heal Move Shift, to help first responders during the COVID Pandemic. In support of the protests against police- and government-sanctioned violence against BIPOC, they arranged a benefit concert and donated the proceeds to the Detroit Justice Center. They have also pivoted our local talent events to be virtual, utilizing Instagram Live to stream these performances. As for SpringFest, the MUSIC Matters team is working extremely hard to make it the best it can be while prioritizing the health and safety of everyone involved. Stay tuned for updates by following our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. 

If you want to get involved in MUSIC Matters, you can still join! Go to our website, then under the “About Us” title go to the “Get Involved” tab. Here, you can find the application for 2020-2021, as well as check out more information on each of the committees and initiatives. 

That’s all for this week! Hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving week (even though it may look a little bit different this year) and find some time to reset. 

 

Stay well + stay safe!

Lucy

Study Hal: Week 27 – Indoors

Hal likes to read his book outside in the mornings, but today, he woke up to frost and snow on the ground… It’s officially too late in the season to take breaks outdoors! Lucky for him, there are a lot of cozy chairs and great houseplants around here. It’s not quite the same as the fresh air outside, but it’ll do.

As far as books, Hal is almost done with Neil Gaiman’s American Gods! I’ve been trying to get him to read Coraline, but he says it’s too scary… (With his love of horror movies, I thought it would be perfect!) Anyone got any good new recommendations for him? He’s going to need them going into the long winter break.

If this is your first time here, welcome! Hal is a U-M student studying remotely through 2020. Check the Study Hal tag to see all of his exploits, or come back on Tuesdays for more!

Study Hal: Week 26 – Refreshed

Like much of the United States, Hal spent last week waiting for election results by constantly refreshing the vote map. When the news came in about our new president-elect, Hal actually felt relieved and refreshed… But it only lasted about 10 seconds. Then he realized how much work piled up while he was worrying about the election results.

It’s been really hard to balance schoolwork with the stress of modern issues. The fight for equal rights and a more democratic and unified country are far from over, but us students have 30 pages of reading and five essays due next week… Hal would like to remind you to be kind to yourself in the coming weeks. He’s working hard to get back on track, but even if it’s slow, it’s amazing to be doing any work at all in a time like this. To all of the students trying to hang in there: amazing job so far, and you’ve got this going forward!

In case this is your first time here, Hal is a U-M student who’s studying remotely for 2020. He’s back on Tuesdays with new adventures, but you can check out all of the previous weeks on the Study Hal tag.

Study Hal: Week 25 – Election Day

Hello from the polls! Hal’s been pretty stressed about the election. But, that anxiety inspired him to be an election official, to help folks vote in person! It’s a good cause, but, like the rest of the election inspectors in Michigan, he had to get up early. (Early enough to be at his precinct at 6 AM!)

If you can vote and you haven’t already submitted an absentee ballot, please try to get out to the polls today! Folks like Hal are there to help you make your voice heard as quickly and safely as possible. Check out The Michigan Daily for info on in-person Ann Arbor precincts, and be sure to get in line before 8 PM in Michigan! On that note, please be kind to your election officials, too! They’ll probably be working until after 10 PM to ensure everything runs smoothly.

In case you’ve missed it, Hal is a U-M student studying remotely this semester! Check out the Study Hal tag to learn more, and see more clips here every Tuesday!