Arts Bash 2015 will put a spotlight on new faces within the Stevens Point community as those involved prepare to put a twist on its twelfth year, offering new foods and programs to guests.
The evening will begin with a student fashion show. Guests will have the opportunity to win a custom-made necklace in a raffle. The piece was designed by University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point alumnus and jewelry-artist Thomas Dailing and donated by Lee Ayers Jewelers.
“A couple new restaurants including PJ’s and Great Northern Distilling will be here,” said Bobbie Erwin, the marketing specialist at the College of Fine Arts and Communication. “People might want to come and try them out before they devote an entire evening to going there, which I’m sure they will anyway, because they’re great.”
This will be Erwin’s tenth time working the event. Arts Bash will occur Saturday, Jan. 31 from 7-10 p.m. Admission price is $50 in advance and $75 at the door. Student tickets are also available for $25 in advance.
Typically, the event includes a wearable sculpture fashion show, but students from the Department of Theatre and Dance will pull costumes from past shows, as far back as 2006, to show off instead.
“They’re pulling the wild, wacky, crazy and really amazing costumes that have been made here that people might remember seeing,” Erwin said. “They’re going to be doing a fashion show with some of the student actors and dancers.”
Allegra Berglund, a 2014 musical theatre graduate, will host this year’s bash.
“She’ll be doing a short performance to kick off that part of the evening,” Erwin said. “For people who enjoyed seeing her in practically every performance we had when she was a student, they’ll be excited to see her back, as we are. She’s an amazing actress and singer.”
During her time as a student, Berglund always looked forward to being a part of Arts Bash and now anticipates it with even more verve.
“It’s been wonderful to have been invited back to get to celebrate the department, which has been such a formative part of my life,” Berglund said. “I never thought I would get to go to another one, so this is just awesome.”
About 150 pieces of student work will be shown in the Carlsten Art Gallery that evening. The popular “Blood, Guts and Gore” will allow guests the chance to don fake scars, cuts or even give the illusion of impaled glass.
“It’s just the craziest thing,” Erwin said. “It’s something you’re never going to see or do in your life unless it’s Halloween or something special like that. Theatre students in the stage makeup area volunteer to do it every year.”
Guests can also have their portraits drawn by art and design students. These events, including food and beverages, are covered by the cost of a ticket.
“I always call it a ten-ring circus because there’s so many things going on that night,” Erwin said.
Arts Bash does not just attract locals. Erwin said people travel from as far as Florida to attend. She anticipates 800 guests will be circulating at this year’s bash.
“It really shows what we’re capable of and welcomes guests with open arms to the Noel Fine Arts Center. It shows them all of our student work,” Erwin said.
Since its start in 2003, Arts Bash has raised more than $250,000 for student scholarships and programs.
“We try to keep expenses at a bare-minimum because every penny we spend is a penny that’s not going to go toward scholarships,” Erwin said.
Each time Arts Bash concludes, Erwin meets with the dean and together they look at how much was raised compared to what is already in the fund for scholarships.
“Generally he will take about half of that and it will be divided between the two departments,” Erwin said. “Scholarships will be awarded in spring. The other half is put into an endowment fund so that all events have a life-span, and when Arts Bash is done this endowment fund will be able to keep those scholarships going forever.”
“Eventually that endowment fund will be large enough to give out typically what we would if we still held the event, which is our hope, and we’re getting closer every year,” Erwin said. “Every year it keeps growing, so until that stops we’ll keep doing it.”
Erwin estimates over 100 people have come together to help make Arts Bash a success this year.
Students, faculty and staff are prepared, and excited, to welcome guests through their doors to celebrate an all-encompassing look at their passions and hard work.
“It’s just celebrating the arts in all forms: culinary, visual, performing, everything,” Erwin said. “I really think the theme is to just come and experience what we have to offer and have a great time. It’s a really fun evening.”
Arts and Entertainment Editor