Isabel Hohenlohe '21
As NCS Arts Board President this year, my main goal is to keep everyone connected in this setting through arts, in whatever form that may take. Being in an online setting can feel very isolating, and I strongly believe that sharing and consuming art at this time can be a powerful tool to connect the Close and to find individual solace. This year especially, I want to keep traditions alive, even if they are in a different setting than normal. Being online also provides opportunities to try new activities and branch out in terms of the traditions arts board usually enacts.
Since many of us are missing hearing and watching our classmates perform, I am planning to have open mics streamed through Zoom this year so that we can keep the beloved tradition of open mics alive and encourage people to share their art with the community. In addition to holding virtual open mics, I teamed up with Discus members to showcase individual singers at NCS through “Tiny Desk Concerts.” Each video will showcase a different singer and allow them to sing songs that they love independently. Furthermore, when I began Arts Board, one of my immediate initiatives was to integrate and showcase visual arts just as much as performing arts, as I know NCS often tends to overlook visual arts opportunities more. Because of this, one of the main initiatives that the Arts Board will be working towards is a bi-monthly newsletter that showcases visual artists at NCS. This newsletter will be an opportunity to highlight the art that students have made during quarantine and online school and to encourage others to explore their creative sides. The newsletter will also remind everyone of upcoming art-related events, such as virtual theater productions and new visual arts opportunities. Open mics, “Tiny Desk Concerts,” and the arts newsletter are the main large-scale initiatives for this upcoming year that I am hoping to implement.
In addition to large-scale initiatives, being on Zoom allows for the creation of smaller-scale art projects or activities of a more relaxed nature. For example, I am planning to host doodling, coloring, and craft Zooms during some Friday office hours. I will play some music, and everyone on the Zoom can individually doodle or color whatever they desire. These Zooms are a time for those who want an artistic outlet and benefit from having a carved-out time to do these activities. I think that we often do not let ourselves have enough time to just unwind, and I believe that unwinding artistically can be a really powerful stress reliever and happiness booster. These Zooms are also times to connect with the school community in a time when it feels like connections with others are very much stifled.
Every school year, but especially during this school year, stress is high, and many people feel very overwhelmed by everything. I am hoping that the arts opportunities and activities that we facilitate can be a source of escape, enjoyment, and relaxation, instead of a source of stress, because I think everyone needs more of that now. I am always open to hearing anyone’s ideas or suggestions for how to make arts at NCS an enjoyable experience!