Meet Your 2019 Manifest Team

From left to right: Manifest Creative Director: Lex Heyler (19), Manifest Digital Media Assistant: Paige Brunsen (21), Manifest Marketing Assistant: Angelica Hornewer (20), Manifest Production Assistant: Erini Nicolaidou (19).

Since we’re only in the fourth week of classes at here at Columbia, most students have yet to think ahead to midterms, let alone the end of the semester. But even though we’re surrounded on all sides by a polar vortex, the 2019 Manifest team is hard at work focusing on those sunny days ahead of us in May. It’s their job to make sure that this year’s Manifest Urban Arts Festival is one to remember, and they’re going to spend the next few months agonizing over every detail. But for now, let’s take a moment to get to know the people who are going to make it all happen.

Lex Heyler – Creative Director

Lex Heyler, a senior Graphic Design student and Chicago native, has been chosen to create the designs that will soon be plastered on every wall, t-shirt, and poster across Columbia. Lex hopes to use the 2019 Manifest theme, Amplify, to highlight the voices of Columbia’s diverse student population. “Raising up the voices of others, whether directly through words or through creative expression, feels like the implicit mission at Columbia,” says Lex. “I thought about the school’s commitment to intersectionality and how that could be carried out through this Manifest theme.”

So how has Lex translated that concept into their designs? “I was inspired by the shapes of sound waves,” they explained. The design for the Manifest star, which is the design that won Lex the coveted position of Creative Director, mimics the look of audio waveforms. To emphasize the idea of amplifying all kinds of voices, Lex incorporated hands into some of the graphics. “I’ve always found hands specifically to be an extremely expressive part of the body, and I felt that including them in my design would allow the visual representations to have more of a voice of their own.”

The “Amplify” theme has inspired Lex to create some truly memorable and inspiring art, and they can’t wait to see how it integrates with the rest of Manifest 2019’s offerings. “After all,” said Lex, “Manifest is really about showcasing our students. I want to see how I can harmonize with that.”

Paige Brunsen – Digital Media Assistant

Paige, a sophomore studying Post Production for Cinema, is in charge of making promotional videos for the upcoming festival. “I am striving to make this year’s Manifest opportunities accessible and visible to all students,” says Paige of her new role. “Amplify to me is a word of empowerment, encouraging people to be vocal about their passions and their work.” Paige wants to make sure Columbia students know how to take part in Manifest however they wish to, and she’s hoping to get as many people involved as possible.

As to what she thinks makes Manifest so special, Paige pointed out that “it is the one event at Columbia that brings every department, every student, together to celebrate the talents of Columbia’s community.” She’s planning on making sure the whole community is invited, and she’s excited to be working with such an incredible team. “I am so happy to bring my skills to the Student Activities team and assist with Columbia’s biggest event of the year! I’m proud to be surrounded by dedicated and passionate individuals who strive to make Manifest the best it can be!”

Angelica Hornewer – Marketing Assistant

“My personal meaning of Amplify is to do or create something bigger than yourself,” says Manifest Marketing Assistant Angelica. “With the many outlets we are constantly plugged into, it’s easy to get lost in the noise. I think it’s important to remember what your drives are, and what your passions are and never stop reaching for and beyond your goals. In other words, Amplify who you are and what matters to you.”

Angelica is taking it upon herself to make sure that every student is aware of how they can be involved. “So many students don’t realize how easy volunteering for the festival is. The opportunities are fun and engaging as well. Yes, I know this sounds very scripted but I promise it’s not. I wish I would have known of the ways to be a part of Manifest sooner. From the first Manifest I ever attended, I knew I had to be a part of making it all come together. I was in awe of the magnitude of the festival itself and was just overwhelmed seeing our campus come together in this way. I hope everyone who attends Manifest this year can feel the same way I do. This should be a day where students and staff alike can be reminded of what we are doing here and feel proud to be a part of our creative and passionate community.”

Erini Nicolaidou – Production Assistant

Erini, an Instrumental Performance major and a Manifest Team veteran, is once again taking on the role of Production Assistant. “When I first joined this team last year, I was seeking to be a part of this big celebration and also get more hands-on experience in event planning and production. Now, a year later in the same position, I have grown and obtained new skills as well as the privilege of making the decisions, planing and executing my own projects. Manifest has helped me to be ready to enter the ‘real world’ upon my graduation this May.”

Erini may have been through the Manifest planning process before, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t just as excited this time around. “I just want to say that the whole Manifest Team is very excited and is working in planning probably the best Manifest so far. We look forward to seeing everyone on the street, celebrating and enjoying themselves.”