It’s hard to imagine that a school event can have giraffes making out, captivating literature, hula hooping instructors, flutists, popcorn, smooth jazz, coloring books and holy gospel all in one building. But the Geneseo Fringe Festival was an event that offered all of that and more.
On Thursday Nov. 2, the Geneseo Campus Activities Board hosted the second annual Geneseo Fringe Festival. The event included performances from student groups specializing in poetry, comedy, singing, dancing and other forms of art. Besides performances, the Kinetic Gallery held a display of student artwork by undeclared freshman Riley Donahue and history adolescent education major senior Jessica Lisi, both members of the photography club.
Additionally, the Circus Club and Gajjda Bhangra held workshops in the Fireside Lounge and allowed newcomers to learn more about these art forms.
GCAB music and comedy coordinator senior Leila Sedigh organized the Fringe Festival again this year; her passion for showcasing student expertise was evident through her work.
“I always try to make sure students get the chance to show off their talents,” Sedigh said. “I know in the past couple of years students in the arts haven’t had as much opportunity so Fringe Fest is a great [way] for all these students to show off their talents.”
All of the participating students brought their A-game to the festival, and many of their performances and exhibitions were presented in the MacVittie College Union Ballroom. The improv group No Laugh Track Required gave a very convincing performance of giraffe love, which the audience enjoyed. The Gajjda Bhangra dancers incorporated beautiful traditional dance with Mario game sound effects, blending tradition with modern technology.
Additionally, each of the singing groups had remarkable soloists and harmonies, and the Gospel Choir engaged the audience by inviting them to stand up and dance along. While performing, the groups undoubtedly had fun sharing their talents with their peers. Other groups that performed included the Poets Society, the Flute Choir, Geneseo G-Steppas and Jazz Combo.
This year’s festival had an almost completely different set of clubs than last year’s, but they were no less engaging. The variety of performances allowed everyone to see an array of entertainment and explore other exhibits when performances were not in their taste.
For instance, in the Kinetic Gallery, there was a mixture of different artwork to peruse and tables of coloring books to allow the public to produce their own art. In the lobby, popcorn and refreshments were served, and a caricature artist was available to create cartoons. Tables were set up where people could paint on canvases and make architectural letter art—a process in which name plates are made out of different styled letters.
Overall, audience members felt that this festival was essential to have on Geneseo’s campus, including economics and political science double major junior Sophia Butler
“I really enjoy going to events that show off the artistic talents of Geneseo students,” Butler said. “I think it’s important that these groups, who work and practice as hard as they do, should continue to have campus involved events, like fringe fest, to show off their hard work.”
Geneseo not only has a talented assortment of poets, comedians, singers, and dancers among its students, but the community around them is uniquely amused. The audience for each performance was supportive; some came out to see friends, while others were there just to see the skills of their peers.
Everyone attending seemed to be having a wonderful time, even the organizers who had to work looked thrilled just to be helping. The Geneseo Fringe Festival shows just how involved, passionate and talented the student body is.u