Artburst kicks off Festival of the Arts

Students around campus this week may have noticed tie-dye signs that said, “Wait for it,” with a time taped below. Anyone who was in the area at the time listed became an audience member for performers from Queens arts programs.

These performances, called “artbursts,” was the kick-off for the Festival of the Arts at Queens. Julie Funderburk, director of The Arts at Queens, said this is the second year they have sponsored this event on campus.

Dylan Gilbert and Stuart Collins play guitar in the Coffee HouseWilliam Mandile | The Queens Chronicle

Dylan Gilbert and Stuart Collins play guitar in the Coffee House

Funderburk said that participants included faculty and staff members from the College of Arts and Sciences, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and around 60 students.

“We’ve been planning some of the details since January,” Funderburk said in an email. “However, many of our short performances are not intended to be highly polished presentations but rather a chance to be energetic and informal and take risks.”

Kate Guidry plays the ukulele on the Lion's Den patioWilliam Mandile | The Queens Chronicle

Kate Guidry plays the ukulele on the Lion’s Den patio

While the Artburst performances may not be polished works, they kick off the Festival of the Arts, which Funderburk said will showcase polished pieces in “visual, literary and performing arts.”

Jimmie Chavis, Erikka Hanright and Dylan Gilbert perform in the Coffee HouseWilliam Mandile | The Queens Chronicle

Jimmie Chavis, Erikka Hanright and Dylan Gilbert perform in the Coffee House

Rachel Stewart, senior: “My favorite part about participating in the arts at Queens is twofold: I love exposing our campus and community to the diversity of talent and creativity we have, but also celebrating and recognizing the joy and sense of community that the arts as a whole can bring.”

Florencia Rusinol, junior:“I loved doing artbursts because each time we went out and played, you could really see how much joy it brought to everyone. That joy is why I believe that the arts are so important. Besides all the cognitively stimulating effects music has that I learn about through music therapy, it can bring joy and creativity to anyone’s life.”

Jacklyn Pfuhl, Kayla Kreidl and Kenesha Raeford dance in Diana CourtyardWilliam Mandile | The Queens Chronicle

Jacklyn Pfuhl, Kayla Kreidl and Kenesha Raeford dance in Diana Courtyard

Kenesha Raeford, sophomore: “Queens has a lot of opportunities for participation in many forms of art and self-expression. They’ve created this open platform for students to just share little pieces of them with the rest of the community. Dancers love being in the spotlight and of course any chance I get to dance, I will definitely take advantage of that offer.”

Matrisha Stafford, Florencia Rusinol and Rachel Stewart perform in Trexler CourtyardWilliam Mandile | The Queens Chronicle

Matrisha Stafford, Florencia Rusinol and Rachel Stewart perform in Trexler Courtyard

Matrisha Stafford, junior: “I think that the arts are important because there is self-expression of all kinds to be shown. There are always great songs, great dances and great pictures to be shared or taken, and the arts give people who have the desire to do those things an outlet to expressive themselves through the talents they have been given.”

The Festival of the Arts at Queens began March 20 with the opening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Arts events on campus will continue through April 24.

“The arts are for everyone and the arts are everywhere,” said Funderburk in an email. “Our intention is that Artburst reflects this and inspires creativity, which is a vital component of the intellect. Regardless of a student’s major or career ambitions, the arts are enriching. “

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