Professors, students and members of the community showcased their talents as various art forms were unified at the popular Arts Collide event held at William Jewell College in the Stocksdale Gallery Aug. 24.
After a short delay, as more chairs had to be fetched to accommodate a larger than expected audience, the event kicked off with six published poets – including Jewell student Elise Villarreal, alumna Rebecca Santiago and English professor Ruth Williams – reading original works. These were then interpreted by the River Cow Orchestra and Jewell dancer Lakie Spencer who performed their interpretations live as the poems were read a second time.
Maryfrances Wagner, event coordinator and poet, emphasized that the event is unscripted and that its success relied on the skills of the artists themselves.
“It’s all improv,” Wagner said. “Even the music [the band] plays is made up at the time.”
In addition to the live entertainment, poetry and art from the books of Greg Field, William Trowbridge and Wagner were displayed on the gallery walls. These pieces will remain mounted for two months.
This is the third event of this type that Carol Kariotis, vice chairperson of the Liberty Arts Commission, has organized, but it is the first that she has organized through the Commission.
“I love this event,” said Kariotis. “[It’s a] way of bringing literary work to the Liberty Arts Commission, which in the past has only done sculpture and 2-D art exhibits.”
The event was funded by the Transient Guest Tax, a tax paid to Liberty to fund arts-related activities which draw tourism to the city, and is a kick-off event for monthly open mic nights at the Corbin Theatre. The first of these events are scheduled for 7-9 p.m. Sept. 14 and Oct. 5.