Utah Valley University Students Association (UVUSA) holds monthly SoundBites— an open mic night— on either the first or second Thursday from 8:00-10:00 p.m. at Center Stage. This month, on Nov. 8, UVUSA partnered with UVU Student Alumni to host a Valley United Against Hunger campaign and open mic night combined.
Valley United Against Hunger is a campaign where UVU teams up with BYU to raise money and food for Community Action Services & Food Bank during November. Community Action Services & Food Bank is a nonprofit organization whose goal is to solve poverty by providing the basic critical needs (such as food and housing) and rebuilding the financial and social self-sufficiency of those in need.
UVU students came to SoundBites to perform music, comedy, poetry and spoken word pieces on stage, while the audiences can enjoy special refreshments, create artwork or donate food or money.
Paige Lammers, a sophomore social work major working at the UVU Student Alumni, said, “[Community Action Services & Food Bank] fills the food bank on campus, so everything that we [collect] will go back to current UVU students. We raise money and food just to help students with food and security.”
Lammers encouraged the attendees to donate because even just a one dollar donation is about 17 lbs of food or 5 meals for someone in need. She said, “ [Just donating one dollar] can make such a big impact.”
At the event, UVUSA provided mason jars, foam brushes, mod podge and leaves for attendants to create crafts with while listening to the performances.
Jessica Daniel, UVUSA’s Fine Arts Chair and a sophomore majoring in Botany, said the open mic and craft work can attract more people to come to the event. She said, “ It actually brought a whole new atmosphere to [SoundBites].” Her favorite part about these events is the creative work that students write and perform on stage.
Austin Lush, a junior English Education major, came to perform his own music titled “Alice,” which is based off of the novel Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. He said he came to open mic to practice new material in front of the crowd. By seeing the audiences’ reactions, he can know what he needs to improve.
Hailee Ellis, a junior majoring in public relations, said, “I feel like music is the purest form of emotion. I think it is the best way to connect to people.”
Arts & Culture Staff Writer