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Last Friday, the UNC Media Art Space was filled with music and spoken poetry as six student artists performed their creative works for their peers.

The event was a multimedia mixer hosted by the Carolina Artists Coalition, an unofficial organization meant to help student artists of any skill level showcase their work and connect with other creatives.

The coalition was founded by UNC junior Alex West, who said they conceptualized it a year ago, but officially started it this past fall. 

West, a communications major concentrating in media production, saithey are involved in various art clubs and wanted to promote collaboration between various mediums. 

“There are so many people that don't just do one art here at UNC, and so for me, that was a really kind of important thing to realize,” they said.

Over the last semester, the organization has been working on kickstarting programs such as Writing Wednesdays, which sets aside an hour for students to write and workshop together, and Feature Fridays that promote artists and their work over social media. 

The coalition also hosted an open-mic game night at The Gathering Place in late October. This event included a costume contest, which West said was their way of trying to promote creative freedom and costume design.

However, according to West, Friday's multimedia mixer was one of their biggest events so far.

“Honestly, I just wanted to create an event where people could show off their craft and have fun, nothing more to it,” they said in a text. “Kinda like a karaoke night for original works with different mediums.”

The mixer included performances from four student musicians and two student poets, with the majority of the works being written by the artists themselves.

The first act of the night was UNC junior Zoe Wynns, who sat at a keyboard and performed her original song titled how it ends,” a ballad piece which she said was inspired by a past relationship. She also performed a cover of “Take Me to Church” by Hozier.

Wynns said she heard about the mixer through the Carolina Film Association group chat and thought it would be a fun way to perform on campus.

“We had everything from the Piedmont blues to my sad singer-songwriter thing and then poetry,” she said. “So, it was cool to know about all those different kinds of communities — for music and otherwise — on campus, just connect with people that probably wouldn’t have otherwise.”

Kiran Garcha, another junior at UNC, covered two songs: “We Will Rock You” by Queen and the "Pitch Perfect" version of “No Diggity" by Blackstreet.

Garcha said West and Wynns persuaded her to sing at the mixer and, during rehearsals, the artists were all supportive and watching their performances helped ease some of Garcha's stress, she said

The mixer was UNC first-year Rianna Lee's first introduction to the coalition.

“It was really eye opening for me because, me myself, I'm a STEM major,” she said. “I'm not usually exposed to this kind of art, so it was really interesting to be able to experience and know more than what I'm used to, which is really interesting.”

Zinzi Milner, a UNC junior who came to see her friend perform, also said that she enjoyed the performances and the diverse array of pieces.

In the future, West said that they hope to grow the club’s community and host more events and meetings for student artists to participate in. The group is also working to become an official UNC club in February.

The coalition will be hosting another multimedia mixer on March 1 in the same space. Those interested in performing can email West for more information.


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