Joe P. Asher
The Crawdad Student Arts Series, a biannual music and arts event organized by students of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, took place Friday on the Cumberland campus.
This installment was headed by Southeast student Lauren Adams, one of about twenty students and faculty members involved in organizing the event. The staff includes Southeast faculty and students as well as area high school students.
“It has a different theme every year,” stated Adams. “This year it’s Crawpocolypse”.
According to Adams, each event takes months of planning.
“The students of Southeast, we usually start on this two or three months in advance to get everything ready, and it’s a music and arts festival,” stated Adams. “It’s a one day event usually lasting eight to ten hours for local musicians and artists. This year we have a comedian and next semester we have a poet coming, and there’s also a rave upstairs for the hip hop-esque people.”
Adams said Crawpocolypse is a multi-genre festival as far as music is concerned.
“The normal thing here is the heavier stuff, because that’s what a lot of people sign up to do, but last year we had a funk band, and we’ve had folk before,” said Adams.
The event is open to all genres of bands and music artists, and features several different bands throughout the day.
“Anywhere between ten and eighteen (bands),” said Adams. “The majority are local, I think the furthest off we’ve ever had is a band came from Williamsburg…but 90 percent of them are local.”
Adams explained the event gives local kids an opportunity to see live music, something that is not readily available in the area.
Adams pointed out that the organizers use local resources as often as possible.
“We get Hometown Music to come and do the sound for us, they’re from Whitesburg,” stated Adams. “We try to keep everything as local as we can. We use Black Mountain Pizza, which is just a little pizza place down the road there in Cumberland,” said Adams.
This event is free and open to the public, with some unexpected free benefits.
“The pizza, drinks and T-shirts are all free to the public,” stated Adams.
Robert Gipe, Director of the Appalachian Program at Southeast, is one of the faculty coordinators of the Crawdad Student Arts Series.
Gipe shed some light on the origins of the event.
“The college president, Dr. Bruce Ayers, had asked us to come up with some new kinds of events to create more activity in the theatre here, and I suggested to him that we let the students direct some programming. That’s how Crawdad got started,” explained Gipe.
Gipe has been involved since the program’s inception.
“The first time we did an event was in the spring of 2008, typically what we do is we advertise for students to come and create the events, we don’t put very many rules on them, this is their opportunity to create the events that they want and that their friends want to come to,” stated Gipe.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org