UNC students are taking the arts on campus into their own hands as the student-led nonprofit Galore hosts "Word-for-Word," a poetry reading featuring the UNC Wordsmiths and other student performers.
Caroline Durante, a sophomore on Galore’s executive team, said that Galore is a concept store featuring UNC artists' work. The store opened in February with a launch party showcasing live music and student art.
The address for Galore is 149 E. Franklin Street.
“We were so excited about how successful our launch party was a few weeks ago,” Durante said. “It was just mind-blowing how many people came out."
Galore is interested in the arts at UNC in all forms, and the group is taking an active stance to create opportunities that empower student artists.
“A big part of our mission is really hoping to build and foster community around the arts at UNC, and we view this as a way to do this outside of the visual arts,” said Colby Kirkpatrick, a senior and the executive director of Galore. “For this event we really wanted to bring in another arts community and help them gain some more exposure and showcase the immense amount of talent within the literary arts here.”
Performers for the event will range from the UNC Wordsmiths, a spoken-word organization, to creative writing students and students who write in their own time. Maddie Poole, a first-year English major on the creative writing track said that she wished the department received more attention.
“I think the creative writing program at UNC does a great job to practice the art of writing,” Durant said. “I think UNC as a whole is not as aware of this art or (doesn't) even see writing as a form of art besides writing research papers, which is so heavily focused on here.”
Junior Kate Griffin, who is studying biology and neuroscience, is also a resident poet for UNC Wordsmiths. The group attends events like "Word-for-Word," but they also host slams throughout the year.
Griffin said that people have to look harder for opportunities for creative writers on campus, but they are out there.
“We’re really passionate about community outreach, social justice, bringing awareness to different perspectives and experiences, and poetry is a really good way that you can do that,” Griffin said.
Griffin and Poole both use poetry to take on tough issues, dealing with gender and sexuality, among other things.
“It’s also important to be able to flex my creative muscles in a different manner than STEM, because creativity is really important for both science and for poetry, obviously,” Griffin said.
At the event, which will be held at Galore on Feb. 22 at 8 p.m., all the focus will be on the artists. Durante said, compared to the launch party, this event will be very intimate and warm.
“We also will be serving coffee, so you kind of have that feel as well that this is something different than our first event — it’s more intimate, focused on these artists specifically and not just on Galore,” Durante said. “Before the event starts we’re going to make known that this is the artists’ work and they’re free to express themselves how they wish.”
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