Performers thrive on audience feedback. There is an energy that comes from putting on a show for people and knowing that they enjoy the finished product after the work it took to get there. On the other side of this experience is an electric feeling one gets from sitting in the audience, watching talented people put everything into a display of passion and drive.
Students should embrace the opportunities to enjoy the artistic performances and displays on campus. There are abundant events, from concerts to shows, displays and performances every semester, and many of them cost very little or are even free.
Engaging with artistic performances allows people to gain insight into the world, to experience positive mental stimulation and even see the human experience reflected through art.
The value of art spans many mediums, and there is something for everyone here on campus; students can attend a workshop with UMBC’s dance group, Major Definition; hear Camerata perform an expansive choral repertoire; or watch a TheatreCOM performance, along with many other experiences. Such variety allows for students to attend the kinds of events they enjoy, and it also means that they can expose themselves to new kinds of art.
Sanjana Taskar, a senior studying acting and sociology, wrote in an email, “Try to go for something that you would never in a million years think you’d be interested in. You see for yourself what your likes and dislikes are, and form the opinions you’d like to make by going out of your comfort zone.”
As members of the audience watching displays of artistic talent, students can support their peers and experience culture without even having to leave the campus. Students are often wanting for entertainment, but sometimes it is staring them in the face and waiting for them to acknowledge it.
“These arts programs provide a release from the daily stress of life. It just takes a few hours to go and expose yourself to these things,” said Corey Wiggs, a senior music technology and computer science double major and member of the Cleftomaniacs, a student a cappella group. “You’re never going to have another point in your life when you’re going to be so close to so many artistic opportunities.”
Wiggs added that there are frequent updates to the music department website and the UMBC tickets website in addition to event listings on myUMBC, allowing ample opportunity for students to learn about what kinds of events are approaching and what they might be interested in.
Sitting in a dorm room and passing the time with friends can be fun, but every once in a while students should step out and experience the amazing opportunities for rich artistic enterprises available at UMBC.