The Student Center Auditorium was alive with activism as Student Artists for a New Society presented a 90-minute showcase to approximately 50 audience members Monday night.
SANS is a group of like-minded artists who use their talents to speak out against social injustices including institutional racism, domestic violence and misogyny.
Admission was paid through donations of non-perishable food and toiletry items benefitting Eastern Michigan University’s Mentorship Access Guidance in College Program’s pantry.
“I recently met the director of the MAGIC Program, which serves students who have no familial support while here at EMU as a result of homelessness, emancipation or aging out of the foster care system,” public relations major Lydia Seale said. “When I heard about their need to stock a food and toiletry pantry, I wanted to find a way to help them.”
Seale decided she could help by integrating MAGIC’s need with her Honors College senior thesis project.
“The original idea was that this was supposed to be an a cappella group so it was supposed to be sans, meaning sans music, which meant without music,” she said. “But it was hard to find enough a cappella artists to do that so it just kind of morphed into this.”
There was acting, poetry, singing, rapping, forensics and playing instruments, with 11 performances total. As a social media component, via Twitter and Instagram, each artist’s photo hung in the backdrop with the hash tag #AWorldSANS.
Kristianna Bell wants a world without judgment. Accompanied by Timothy Blackmun on guitar, she sang a song they co-wrote.
“The lyrics I wrote tell a story about me and the struggles that I’ve gone through,” said Bell, a senior arts and entertainment manager major. “For me to be able to share that with everyone was very powerful and very meaningful to me. I appreciate the opportunity to get to do this.”
Various groups around campus that work toward ending social injustices were highlighted and represented, including Circle K International, Detroit Does Well, EMU NAACP and the EMU Black Student Union.
“For students, I’m really hoping that they will link up with some of the organizations that were showcased,” Seale said. “That’s really my main goal with the whole project.”
Seale also said that she hopes #AWorldSANS becomes a social movement as a way to connect students with causes that they can physically be a part of.
“This is my passion. I really loved the theme of this show,” Bell said. “It was a very positive theme that everyone in the audience could take something away from.”
For more information, contact Lydia Seale at email@example.com follow on Instagram and Twitter @sansEMU. To learn more about MAGIC visit emich.edu/magic/.