For those yearning for a year of visual art on campus and a bevy of performing arts groups to take in, this year might be of note. The Arts Advocacy Committee, one of 12 committees within student government, is gaining traction on accomplishing many of its goals after only a short time of work this semester. Among other projects, the committee is focusing on the Carolina Student Arts Grant. The grant draws from a fund of about $10,000 provided by the Office of the Provost, awarding a $1,000 maximum to either individual students or organizations. "It's for helping you or your organization do something for the campus," said Elizabeth Peacock, co-chairwoman of the committee. "Hopefully we'll help students find cool ways to do that." The grant is the first at UNC specifically for students, said Massie Minor, co-chairman of the committee. "We've got a good bit of money," he said. "But if we don't get a good turnout, we're going to lose the grant." A requirement of receiving grant money is to be an active member of the student arts forum, a brainchild of the committee. The forum, which will meet at 5 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month in the Student Union beginning Sept. 14, will receive input from the student body about how to improve the arts at UNC. The committee is hoping to hear from all students, ranging from the most involved to the mildly interested, Peacock said. Another work-in-progress for the committee is the student arts festival "Carolina Performs." "We want to continue the tradition of having students perform in Memorial Hall," Peacock said. The festival will be held Oct. 28. The committee also had plans to collaborate with Duke University on an upcoming arts festival. But contacts at Duke failed to return phone calls, Minor said. "They seemed to be willing to participate in the festival, just not to do any of the work." Since its inception three years ago, the committee has been growing in scope, said Student Body President James Allred. "They're seeing more interest," he said. "Arts groups are coming to the table more interested in working through student government." The committee is collaborating with Allred's administration to complete some of his other platform objectives, such as getting more student art around campus and on Franklin Street. Peacock also commented on initiatives to get visual art in South Campus residence halls after hearing complaints that walking through one of them is like "walking through a hospital corridor." For those interested in joining the committee, an open house of student government is being held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today in Union Suite 2501. "We're looking forward to seeing art in places it hasn't been before - performers doing things they haven't done before," Peacock said. "We're looking forward to having a really diverse, vibrant and passionate group." Contact the Arts Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.