Arts Week Everywhere 2012 (AWE) wouldn’t be possible without the creative and organizational efforts of students in Indiana University’s Master of Arts Administration program—a fitting recognition since this year’s celebration highlights IU students, whose creative energy and passion for the arts shapes Bloomington both on campus and in the community.
Part of an Audience Development and Marketing the Arts class taught by School of Public and Environmental Affairs visiting lecturer Al Lyons, the 35 students split into six task forces to coordinate this year’s AWE festivities. Their involvement was meant to help reinvigorate and refocus the 28th annual celebration to highlight and promote student engagement in the arts.
“Everybody feels what’s at stake here,” said Jennylynn Vidas, who’s in the first year of her arts administration masters studies and leads AWE’s campus promotions team. “We want this to be successful, and something we can look back on and say, ‘We made a difference.’”
Class members took part in nearly every aspect of organizing this year’s AWE activities, ranging from crafting a media campaign aimed at attracting their fellow students to weighing in on a new website to building excitement via social media.
That work gave them an understanding of the practical realities of organizing such an event, as well as experience collaborating with university and community partners, including the Office of the Provost, IU Communications, and various departments and organizations on campus, and the artists participating in AWE.
For the students, it’s been an exhilarating ride. Their already busy schedules were inundated with meetings and requests for decisions—but seeing AWE 2012 take shape had made it all worthwhile, they said.
“We could sit in class and read a textbook and listen to lectures all day and, at the end of the day, recite back what we ‘learned,’” said Jessica Reed, who’s in the first year of her arts administration masters studies and leads AWE’s social media team. “What we’re doing here is real-world work.”