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‘Students shine on the quad’ at SparkFest

The interior of the quad was for the vendor booths and the edges were lined with booths by organizations and departments.
The interior of the quad was for the vendor booths and the edges were lined with booths by organizations and departments.

Warm weather and sunny skies ushered in this year’s SparkFest on April 19; the weather, live band and free activities invited students to explore the 30 different booths.

Libby Morgan, a graduate student on the College of Creative Arts (CCA) Dean Advisory Board responsible for organizing the event, said SparkFest’s purpose was to celebrate the arts and link students with industry professionals and alumni. By partnering with the Alumni Advisory Board SparkFest was able to provide a table where students could talk with alumni on the board who have taken unique career paths, like Hollywood director Jason Brown.

“It's a really great networking opportunity to reach out to people who are really way cooler than any of us yet, because they’re so young they’re a great opportunity to connect,” Morgan said. “So it's networking and creativity for all.”

The board started planning the event at the end of August 2023, but the committee chair started earlier in the summer. Morgan said anyone could sign up to have a booth at the event, not just people from CCA.

“We want a way for the arts community to be celebrated and for students to share their creativity with others,” Morgan said, “as well as for the Miami [University] community to have a day of creativity … students shine on the quad, that’s our saying.”

The printmaking class put on one of the vendor booths at this year’s SparkFest, where students could sell prints they made and receive full profit. Liv Weintraut, a sophomore biology major and art minor, manned the booth and said she had already sold one of her designs.

“I priced them mostly by vibe and how much I liked them,” Weintraut said. “So if I like it more, then I sell it for more because I don't really want to sell it.”

Printmaking wasn’t the only creative table in attendance. There was also a caricature drawing set up for $1 a piece and two bracelet-making stations.

Throughout the five-hour event, there was live music by the band “Dust and Guitars,” a set by the acapella group “Just Duet” and performances from the cast of Stage Left’s upcoming production of “Legally Blonde.” Similar to the booths, anyone could sign up to perform.

Senior marketing major Sara McKee and her friend said they stumbled upon the event and decided to visit their friend working the jewelry booth and walk around.

“I think it's a fun way to get interactive on campus and see other people's products and their work,” McKee said. “It's really cool to see that students actually do this stuff. I didn't know there was so much talent on campus.”

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Morgan marked the day as a success because of the nice weather and the variety of people in attendance who created a nice flow of traffic. Unlike previous years, not just CCA students attended.

“I've seen a lot of non-art majors, so that's our goal is to get people from the other side of campus to come over here. And I think we're doing pretty well with that,” Morgan said.