Go forth and create at IWU


Eric Novak, Columnist


During my time here at Illinois Wesleyan University, I’ve found myself often striking out on my own to put on various projects or concerts around campus that aren’t necessarily sponsored by any kind of campus group.

What I’ve discovered is that a lot of the times, different groups on campus have too many restrictions when trying to put these events on. As a result, they lose a lot of the life and spontaneity that I know and love.

Recently, I’ve been trying to organize a series of short concerts geared towards improvisation and the concept of guerilla warfare.

For these concerts, I would perform – alone or with a group – a short set of completely improvised music in an unconventional location for a concert and then leave.

This is an effort not only to play the things I love, but to try and get improvised music more of a presence on a campus whose music scene is very planned out in advance. A college campus is a great platform for this kind of event, because, for the most part, we as students are given the freedom to do the things that we want, provided that they don’t include highly illegal activity.

Putting these concerts together has made me think that our campus could use some more spontaneous student-organized events. It pays to be a self-starter, and a lot of the time, the campus-organized events fail to draw large audiences, usually due to poor programming or advertising, or because people just don’t care.

It’s been disappointing to see some acts at Hansen get such poor attendance due to an indifferent student body. That’s why I say we as students should embrace a bit of spontaneity.

Not only does a completely student-organized event give the student all the creative control, but it also gives the student a sense of accomplishment that they have created something of their own.

In a world that is run more and more through projects like Kickstarter and other crowd funding programs, the skill to create and run things by yourself is almost essential, especially if you are in a more artistically-driven major.

I firmly believe that a campus with a lot of hands-on student involvement is a live one. While we come to campus to learn from a crop of extensively schooled individuals we call our professors in all our classes, there is much to be learned outside of the classroom.

Whether these projects that we create end up being huge successes or complete failures, there is much to be gleaned from the process of creating something that you can call your very own.

Wesleyan’s campus is full of many people that can and will make great contributions to the world, so why not start now and break out of the box a little bit? Don’t think you have to go it alone, there are plenty of people who would be willing to help you.