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Students for the Arts Host Fall Welcome Coffee Fundraiser

Viewpoint; View from the Classroom »
By Avery Rudolph, Student | BA Art History »

Students for the Arts (SftA), a registered student organization at UCA, is the campus arm of the Arkansans for the Arts advocacy organization, which aims to provide leadership focused on the promotion and advancement of the creative economy, on transforming policy in arts education, and uniting the state into one voice with a call to action by policy makers to increase investment in the arts. The major objectives of SftA are to provide students with the ability and training to advance the arts, arts education, and the creative economy in Arkansas. The club currently has 76 registered members.

Conversation, Coffee, Jazz and Art at UCA Downtown, Students for the Arts Welcome Coffee Fundraiser, Sept. 26, 2021. Photo by Gayle Seymour

Conversation, Coffee, Jazz and Art at UCA Downtown, Students for the Arts Welcome Coffee Fundraiser, Sept. 26, 2021. Photo by Gayle Seymour

To advance this mission, Students for the Arts hosted a fundraiser and student art exhibition from 5 to 8 pm on August 26th at UCA Downtown. Over the course of three hours, 128 students attended. The goal of this event was to give students an opportunity to socialize after last year’s shutdown from COVID-19, and welcome back everyone during the first week of the fall semester. The club hoped that this would be a great way to bring not just artists, but the whole community together to enjoy a night of live jazz music and high-quality coffee in the historic setting. The jazz music was performed by Greta Hacker, a recent UCA graduate, who was a member of the Jazz Club on campus.

For the downtown art exhibit, curated by Nakeya Palmer, an art history graduate and a SftA past president, more than 20 artists submitted their work. Of that number, only a third of the works submitted were accepted for display. A handful of the artists attended the fundraiser with family and friends. During the event, they mentioned that this was their first time to showcase their work in a professional setting off campus. They believed the opportunity granted by the club was beneficial to their future careers, and were thrilled to talk about their work with interested viewers. By the end of the evening, three artists had sold their work.

Students for the Arts President Avery Rudolph (left) and Vice President Brynn Ward (right) Pause During Welcome Coffee Fundraiser, Sept. 26, 2021, UCA Downtown. Photo by Gayle Seymour

Students for the Arts President Avery Rudolph (left) and Vice President Brynn Ward (right) Pause During Welcome Coffee Fundraiser, Sept. 26, 2021, UCA Downtown. Photo by Gayle Seymour

Fundraising was supported by T.H.I.N.K. Coffee, a locally owned and operated specialty coffee shop in Conway. Their menu that night was rather diverse and certainly satisfied everyone’s specific tastes – from an Irish Cold Brew to a Chocolate Latte – a lot of people were excited to try these flavors and were willing to stand in the long line of enthusiastic customers.

T.H.I.N.K. Coffee (an acronym for “THerapy IN a Kup”) is owned by John and Jo Keith whose company also supports children with disabilities and their families in the Conway community through charitable donations. According to their website, T.H.I.N.K. Coffee does their best to connect children in need with local “resources needed to increase the quality of life for individuals.” (https://www.thinkdrivethru.com/about-us)

During the fundraiser, executive members of Students for the Arts talked about why the arts are valuable in different aspects of our communities. They handed out information about Arkansans for the Arts and discussed how individuals can become more involved with their legislature to expand job opportunities in the state.

Overall, we raised $500 through coffee sales. That money goes directly back to UCA students to continue bringing speakers to campus, provide fun art activities or projects, and interactive social events that everyone can enjoy!

For more information about Students for the Arts, see our page on CubConnect https://uca.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/arkansas-students-for-the-arts or contact President Avery Rudolph at arudolph@cub.uca.edu.