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'Arcapalooza' celebrates students' creativity, community

February 08, 2011

Throughout the academic year, recital halls and student galleries buzz with activity as Herberger Institute students install works and rehearse lines, dance or music. Seldom are there opportunities for students to mix and collaborate with one another – just for the fun of it. However, ASU Herberger Institute artists and designers unite on Hayden lawn from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., March 8 for their annual Arcapalooza event, a celebration of their artistic and creative endeavors.

“Students interested in the Herberger Institute have an opportunity to speak with current students, hear great music and be submersed in various incarnations of creativity,” says Angela Vasco, Herberger Institute student engagement coordinator for Arcadia Residential Community for Design and the Arts. “You don’t have to be a designer or artist to appreciate design and the arts. Anyone can experience many types of art and design in one central location.”

Since many of the Herberger Institute schools are housed on the west side of the Tempe campus, holding Arcapalooza on Hayden lawn builds a stronger sense of community with students across the Tempe campus.

“The Herberger Institute has a huge impact on this university, and furthering community engagement will help our students become more exposed and involved,” says Erica Gallo, a junior architecture student.

Gallo is a Student Academic Mentor (SAM) within the Herberger Institute. SAMs are institute students who have finished their first year at ASU, and choose to support and encourage first-year students through the beginning of their ASU careers. SAMs and first-year institute students live in Arcadia Residential Community – where Arcapalooza got its moniker. Gallo also is a board member for the Herberger Institute Ambassadors, a student group that gives prospective institute students facility tours, and fields questions about what it’s like to be an arts and design major. It’s the tenacity of all student organizations working together to make Arcapalooza a success. In addition to the arts and design works showcase, plans for Arcapalooza 2011 include food, music, and patrons the chance to vote on their favorite works of art or performances. Arcapalooza is a win-win for participating institute students, as they learn how to promote themselves as well as gain exposure for their work.

“I hope that people walk away seeing how much time it takes to produce an architectural drawing, or an industrial design model, or why photography is more than just taking pictures,” says Stuart Calcote, a double major in design studies and sustainability. Calcote is a SAM, as well as a board member for the Herberger Institute Council. The council acts as the students’ “voice” to institute leadership.

Fellow councilmember Brett Berger also is a SAM, and second-year landscape architecture student. Berger and fellow SAMs, institute council members and student ambassadors work in concert to market Arcapalooza to students through social media, flyers and word-of-mouth. Submissions to showcase works at Arcapalooza are welcomed through Feb. 21, 2011. Interested Herberger students should e-mail a submission description and their contact information to:

“I feel the more works and performances the better. If there were 200 students showing something that would be awesome,” Berger says.

Berger believes that Arcapalooza’s success not only is measured through the number of works on display, but in the opportunity for Herberger Institute students to be one-on-one with other students who aren’t familiar with the efforts and rewards involved with being an arts and design major.

“I know as a designer I am very aware of the spatial world around me, and if I’m able to lend that to someone who is unfamiliar, then I feel that the event is a success,” Berger says.