I’m writing this post in the week following Columbia College Chicago’s first ever drag show! Titled “Once Upon a Drag,” it featured student performers and six local Chicago drag queens who are already booked and working in Chicago. The event was run by the Student Programming Board, but I happily helped book the professional queens and the show was a hit. The lineup was diverse in their artistry and I thought it couldn’t have been a better cross section of the types of performers you can expect in the lush tapestry that is Chicago drag.
My highlight of the night was during Drag Race Season 4 alumna Dida Ritz’s headlining performance. She played a mix of three songs, with the middle segment being a sample from Lion King’s Circle of Life. Due to her regal cape and overall stage presence, it was such a thrill to see her perform this song in what felt like a moment where she quite literally gave life to the Columbia children.
After the successful event, of which I can only claim a small portion of involvement, I started thinking about event planning. Event planning is part of my professional background before coming to Columbia, and most artists would be remiss if a basic knowledge of event planning was not in their skill set. Sometimes I’m unsure whether I absolutely love it or hate it because of the tidal wave of emotions and stressors that you have to go through in order to get an event off the ground, but I can say that there’s nothing better than sitting back after successfully pulling off a large event and being able to say that it went well. It’s a feeling I’ve returned to time and again in my career.
One of the big events on my horizon is the annual fundraiser for Links Hall, THAW, which will occur in Spring 2018. I joined the Associate Board of Links Hall this fall at the recommendation of fellow cohort member Veronica Inberg. Although I first thought I would take my time figuring out my level of participation as a new AB board member, I immediately jumped into the position of chair of the logistics team for the THAW planning committee. Call it a total nerd quality of mine, but once we started discussing the numbers of attendees, possible venues, and crowd flows, I geeked out and had to see where this event would lead. Plus one of my goals for joining the MAM program was to take on more leadership roles and get as much experience as possible. In the meantime, our board is having a fundraiser leading up to THAW at the Hungry Brain–save the date below.
Which brings me to my last thought about event planning at Columbia, which is that a good number of my cohort are currently in the Event Planning practicum which will culminate in The Fresh Connect. This multidisciplinary event celebrates the many intersections and manifestations of Chicago Hip Hop and the launch of the Hip Hop Studies Minor at Columbia College Chicago. Bringing together the many ways of knowing and creating in this groundbreaking genre, we will explore, navigate, and celebrate the talent, entrepreneurship, excellence, education, history and advancement of this living art form in the context of Columbia College Chicago and our city-wide partnerships.
While I’m not in the class, I’ll be there to support so SAVE THE DATE:
THE FRESH CONNECT
7P-10P | CONAWAY CENTER
1104 S. Wabash FL 1