The Association of Black Fine Arts Students held its first “Grand Slam Drum Jam” at the Jester Center’s Spanish Oaks Terrace on Friday to promote art activism in the college
Lakeem Wilson, studio art senior and president of the organization, said the group is centered around fine arts students but invites all students with artistic passions to join.
“The main goal, which is part of our artist statement, [is to] get artists to exhibit their work and give them an opportunity to express their talents, and also to get a community of people to come and break out of their comfort zone,” Wilson said.
The event began with an icebreaker activity called “Catch the Tempo,” in which the members played instruments the organization created from scratch.
“Everyone makes a music circle,” Wilson said. “The first person will start it and keep the beat — then we’ll see how the energy gets and how the vibes are.”
The organization also had performers, singers and poets from the University perform. The group hoped these performances would encourage other students to express themselves through art and music.
Jessica Bathea, economics sophomore and the organization’s social media chair, also performed during the event.
“As a performer, my goal right now, in the four years we’re in college, is to [relax] because we’re under all this stress as students and receiving dismal information about the world,” Bathea said. “My goal is to provide people with a sense of joy and relief that is past all the negative news, teachings and government.”
The event also included downtime for members to write on the organization’s “Dreamer’s Wall” or grab the microphone and freestyle. According to Wilson, both options were intended to force people to share what they really feel.