By spearheading the Rhythms Music Festival in the old Annex space, ASI has brought a refreshing dose of ingenuity to the campus. While the Annex has served faithfully as an interim space, this is definitely a case of campus leaders taking lemons and making lemonade.
By repurposing existing space as well as bringing in emerging and established artists to perform, it seems like we’re finally living up to the “creative spark” slogan that adorns SF State promotional banners around the city.
Getting to enjoy two days of music seems like a pretty good gesture of goodwill after not having a real library for years. It is a clever way of giving the Annex an identity other than the makeshift study space we’ve all known it to be.
Some may quibble about the event’s $24,000 budget. Perhaps instead of focusing on the numbers, they should think of this one-time price as a gesture of giving back to students who have certainly earned it. It feels like most of the time our tuition and fees contribute to services that are cut or downsized before we can use them anyway, so it’s refreshing to see something like a $51 fee being used to create something we can all actually enjoy.
Additionally, if ASI can pull off a successful festival this round they’ll be able to use that momentum to attract even bigger artists in the future. There’s no reason that SF State shouldn’t be able to host more live music events for students, and Rhythms sets a fantastic precedent for that.
Perhaps this can be the start of a new tradition at SF State. For a campus with all the resources to host a music festival like this, it is surprising that it doesn’t happen more often. While it is often difficult for students and administrators to agree on issues like financial cuts and politics, it seems easy to recognize the positive impact of music and art.
Regardless of what the future holds, making a bigger effort to promote the arts in campus life is a step in the right direction.