Students dance the night away at Dance-A-Thon for the Arts

Students gathered in the Col- lege Union Ballroom on Sept. 26 to dance and show support for artistic endeavors. Billed as a “Dance-A-Thon for the Arts,” the event intended to last 12 hours into Saturday Sept. 27. Dance-A-Thon drew a crowd of roughly 50 dancers as well as members of Geneseo Swing Dance Club and Geneseo Bhangra. Music was supplied by Buffalo band Folk Faces and a live DJ. By 1 a.m. only one team of dancers remained and the eve- ning came to an early conclusion.

Despite not running into the early hours of Saturday morning as planned, Activities Commis- sion arts & exhibits coordinator senior Chelsea Butkowski looked at the positives of the experience. “It was a good start,” Butkowski said. “[Every] event needs time to catch on.”

The event arose out of an ef- fort by Butkowski and others to raise money and increase aware- ness of Livingston Arts, a local not-for-profit corporation that runs exhibits, classes and workshops for the arts. While this year’s turn- out was slightly underwhelming, there is still hope for the future.

“We got an okay amount of people,” Butkowski said. “It was as expected. If [the dance-a-thon] continues, hopefully it will be a much larger celebration of dance and the arts.” Brainstorming for the future, she shared other ideas for next time. “I recommend that the event partner with another or- ganization in the future,” she said.

The possible success of such an event can certainly set the pre- cedence for its return. “It was suc- cessful in that it was meaningful for the people who were there,” Butkowski said. “I would’ve liked to raise more money for Livings- ton Arts, but there’s only so much you can do in the first year of an event.”

Another problem Butkowski noted was a lack of awareness of Livingston Arts and what the or- ganization aims to do. “The goals of Dance-A-Thon were to make students more aware of Livings- ton Arts and also to raise funds,” she said. “That’s why I would like to have more attendance––so that students could understand what Livingston Arts is.”

Even with the inaugural event not going entirely as planned, But- kowski isn’t discouraged. “I want to go from a bunch of different angles to make students aware of what art they have available to them,” she said. “That’s the goal for the Kinetic Gallery right now.”

Geneseo has worked with Livingston Arts for a few years now and it continues to be one of the major fine arts resources around campus. After the art cuts on campus, it might be a good re- source to keep around. “Livings- ton Arts is the closest thing––other than the limited art galleries on campus and the small number of art classes the school is offering–– to arts education,” Butkowski said.

Butkowski has taken away some meaningful lessons from the experience. One of the major dif- ficulties she has encountered was the attitude toward arts on cam- pus. “Arts education is something that a lot of students here don’t immediately think about,” she said. “Compared to some other fun- draisers, art doesn’t really seem very significant.”

Butkowski is ready to work to change that mentality. “For a liberal arts college, awareness of the arts is one of the most important aspects of the school,” she said.