Tickets can be expensive, but being a Leafs fan doesn’t have to be

By Lara Kuipers

Toronto Maple Leafs fans watch Game 2 between the Leafs and the Boston Bruins in the NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2013. (Photo courtesy KatieThebeau/ Wikimedia Commons )

Toronto Maple Leafs fans watch Game 2 between the Leafs and the Boston Bruins in the NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in 2013. (Photo courtesy KatieThebeau/Wikimedia Commons)

It’s a Saturday night in Toronto. The sun is just beginning to set, casting a golden glow over the busy people walking in the streets.

“Tickets, I got tickets!” a man yells as he waves two pieces of paper in the air feverishly. It’s not just any Saturday in Toronto, it’s a Saturday night and the Toronto Maple Leafs are playing hockey at home.

Inside the home venue of the Leafs, Scotiabank Arena, men, women, boys and girls of all ages are walking around with a jump in their step. Holding a cold beer in one hand and a hotdog in the other, it’d be hard pressed to find someone not sporting the home team’s jersey – either in the royal blue they wear at home games or the sharp white they wear at away games. Occasionally a rare fan may be seen wearing the other team’s jersey, usually getting heckled by Leafs fans in the hallway that circle the perimeter outside the rink.

With beers in their hands, fans find their seat sections and wait in line as ushers point them to their seats. Through the curtains to the sections the ice is unveiled. The bright lights, the white ice and the screaming fans hits like a rush of adrenaline. The players are already out there warming up – shooting pucks hard at the empty net – never failing to miss their shots. The favourites are all there including the young guns, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Frederik “Freddy” Andersen stretches on their end in the neutral zone. John Tavares and Nazem Kadri are chatting as they skate around. There’s a vibe in the arena, it’s only a vibe you can get from being in the rink to watch a game live. That is, if you can afford it.

For anyone who’s a Leafs fan, seeing a home game in person is a must. However, unfortunately for Leafs fans, they have one of the most expensive tickets in the National Hockey League (NHL). A ticket in the nose bleeds (the seats at the top section of the stands) is still going to cost around $100 per person and better sectioned seats are hard to come by. However, in recent years, an alternative approach to watching the game at Scotiabank Arena has evolved, Maple Leaf Square.

Maple Leaf Square is located at 15 York Street in Toronto, in the area right outside the front doors to the arena. During playoff time it is sectioned off from traffic and designated as a “tailgate” area for Leafs fans to gather during the game. Above the front doors hangs a large screen that plays the game while it’s on. For the past few years the crowd has been packed with fans and the best part is, it’s free.

21-year-old Ryerson University student Haley Bretney has been a fan of the Leafs for most of her life and has visited  Maple Leaf Square to watch a game on three separate occasions.

Bretney said that she didn’t know what to expect the first time she went but remembers that as soon as she walked in, a worker handed her a rally towel with music blasting on the speakers.

“Everybody was really into it. I almost felt like that was more exciting than actually being inside because those were the true fans – trekking out to go to the square and watch. There weren’t a lot of people on their phones or whatever, not watching. If you went to the square you were going to stand for three hours and you were going to watch,” said Bretney.

“I know I would rather be inside, but the atmosphere is so much better outside because those are really the true fans.”

Like Bretney, Ryerson student Mat Rodger, a 20-year-old Leafs fan, said he prefers watching the game in Maple Leaf Square rather than inside the arena.

“I feel like that’s where the real fans go. Inside the rink, the tickets are so expensive, you don’t really get the blue-collar fans,” Rodger said.

But to get to see a Leafs’ game at Maple Leaf Square during the playoffs, the team has to make the playoffs first. That shouldn’t be an issue this season as the Leafs are having one of their best seasons in recent years. They are currently sitting in third place in their division with 89 points. They sit four points behind the Boston Bruins – one of their biggest rivals in the game – with 12 games left in the season.

The results so far this season are not surprising when a deeper look is taken into the dynamics of the team. This season started on a high note before it even started when highly sought after free-agent forward John Tavares signed with the Leafs on July 1, 2018 after playing nine seasons with the New York Islanders.

Tavares is now having one of his best seasons in the NHL as he currently sits fourth in the league with 39 goals scored. But this 2018-19 Leafs’ team is one with a lot of depth because Tavares isn’t the only one on the NHL’s statistics leaderboard. Mitch Marner, playing his third season in the NHL at only 21-years-old sits fourth in the league with 60 assist.

Auston Matthews who is also playing his third season in the NHL, recently became the first player in the Leafs’ long history to score at least 30 goals in his first three seasons in the NHL. In the plus-minus category, not one but two Leafs players cracked the top ten in the league with veteran defenceman Ron Hainsey topping the league with a +33 plus-minus, and defenceman Morgan Rielly sitting in fourth with +30. This comes to no surprise as the team sits third in the league in goals against average with a +46.

In addition to being fourth in the league with plus-minus, Reilly is having one of his best seasons as he sits first in the league with goals by a defenceman at 19. Backing them up, Freddy Andersen sits third in the league with goaltender wins at 33.

With a team channeling such depth and skill with just a few weeks left in the regular season, a playoff run seems very likely. So, you might want to consider hopping on the subway or GO Transit train and riding to Maple Leaf Square to watch the game in a crowd of fellow Leafs fans. Just remember to bring your jersey.

6 Fun and Affordable Date Spots in Toronto

By Sarafina Romano

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, CanCulture has got you covered with the best date spots in Toronto.

With midterms just around the corner, it is easy to get sucked into a dizzying vortex of cue cards and iced coffee. Here’s a gentle reminder that the red hearts stuck to coffee shop windows are not the product of a sleep-deprived hallucination. Yes, it is almost V-Day folks.

Valentine’s Day gets a lot of criticism for being a ‘Hallmark holiday,’ but who doesn’t love, well, love. Whether you are in a long-term relationship, flirting with your crush or forever single, this is a great time of year to celebrate “La Joie de Vivre” in one of the funkiest cities in the world.

Below is a list of unique spots for a cute Valentine’s Day date with your significant other or maybe, your squad. And no need to worry, they are all cheap.

The Clay Room - 279 Danforth Ave

The inside of The Clay Room on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. (CanCulture/Sarafina Romano)

The inside of The Clay Room on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. (CanCulture/Sarafina Romano)

This one is for all you artists or wannabe artists out there and for the adults who never grew out of their paint-by-numbers phase. You know who you are. Located in the heart of the Danforth, The Clay Room is a fun and creative way to spend Valentine’s Day. Choose anything to paint that your heart desires, from plates to dog figurines to vases. After you complete your piece of art, you can pick up your shiny masterpieces a week later. Prices vary from $8.75  to $20.75 depending on the size of the piece.

Skating at Nathan Phillips Square – 100 Queen St. W

The skating rink at Nathan Phillips Square in located right in front of Toronto City Hall. (John Vetterli/Flickr)

The skating rink at Nathan Phillips Square in located right in front of Toronto City Hall. (John Vetterli/Flickr)

If being outdoors is more suitable to your liking, try skating at Toronto’s Nathan Phillips Square. Just minutes away from Ryerson University, this skating rink is surrounded by tall arches and twinkling lights. If you do not have your own skates, you can easily rent a pair for $10 at the rink.

Star Gazing at University of Toronto - Bahen Centre for Information Technology (50 George St.)

At the University of Toronto’s Bahen Centre for Information Technology, they have a small observatory for stargazing. ( Sabrerider /Wikimedia Commons)

At the University of Toronto’s Bahen Centre for Information Technology, they have a small observatory for stargazing. (Sabrerider/Wikimedia Commons)

On the first Thursday of every month, the University of Toronto hosts free stargazing at their planetarium. This is a great option for those who are not into candlelit dinners in packed restaurants on Valentine’s Day. Or, for those who forgot about the holiday - oops! Head up to room 1160 of the Bahen Centre for Information Technology for the next out of space tour on March 7th.

Rooster Coffee House – 568 Jarvis St.

View of Rooster Coffee House from the upper level of the café.  (Photo courtesy @Roostercoffee via Twitter)

View of Rooster Coffee House from the upper level of the café. (Photo courtesy @Roostercoffee via Twitter)

New relationships can sometimes get fuzzy around Valentine’s Day, with a lot of uncertainty surrounding expectations. A chill coffee shop that’s just far enough away from campus is sure to be reassuring in that department. Rooster Coffee House is a cute, two-floor café with a mixture of barstools and comfy chairs. CanCulture recommends the tea lattes, which range from traditional chai lattes to toasty almond lattes.

Art Gallery of Ontario – 317 Dundas St.W.

Wooden arch hallway designed by Frank Gehry for the Art Gallery of Ontario. (Photo via Pixabay)

Wooden arch hallway designed by Frank Gehry for the Art Gallery of Ontario. (Photo via Pixabay)

Take a relaxed stroll through the Art Gallery of Ontario, situated near Kensington Market. The famous artwork and unique architecture will give you and your date plenty to talk about, not to mention tons of photo-ops. The current rate for students at the AGO is $11. Insider tip: if you show your Presto card at the ticket counter, you can get 20 per cent off your ticket!

Allan Gardens Conservatory – 160 Gerrard St. E.

Allan Gardens’ Cool Temperate house. (CanCulture/Jessica Fonseca)

Allan Gardens’ Cool Temperate house. (CanCulture/Jessica Fonseca)

Allan Gardens is just a few minutes away from the Ryerson University campus and is the perfect escape from the hectic city life. The conservatory consists of six greenhouses with flowers, cacti, and even papaya trees. It is a perfect spot for some romancing and warmth in the February chill. Allan Gardens is open every day of the week, free of charge.  

Alternative ways to get fit: Pole dancing

By Madi Wong

Madi Wong, managing editor and Chloe Cook, arts editor ventured out to Brass Vixens Queen Street West studio to participate in a beginner pole dancing class. Watch them test their skills and moves and meet the Vixens  community.

Each person will differ and be at their own pace when it comes to working out. Whether you are a fitness enthusiast, a gym goer looking to try something new, or someone trying to find the right kind of exercise that motivates them.

Going for a run and weight lifting are typical go-to forms of exercise, but if you are not too keen on either of those options, there are plenty of alternatives to get you sweaty and in shape.

Indulging in a form of fitness that revolves around dance is a very popular, and very successful way for people to not only work out but thoroughly enjoy exercising.

For fourteen years, Brass Vixens, a Toronto-based pole dancing and fitness class studio, has boosted numerous bodies and minds with their high-energy and challenging classes.

With four studio locations across the GTA (Queen Street West, Yonge Street, Vaughan and Mississauga) they have become Toronto’s largest pole dancing and fitness class studio.

“Pole dancing is an amazing form of fitness. It works all aspects of your body; working on  toning your arms, back muscles, getting your abs conditioned, your legs as well,” said Melissa Jones, manager at Brass Vixens Queen Street West studio.

Pole tests your balance, coordination and flexibility. It also challenges every part of your body; abs, back, arms, legs. Through each elaborate and rhythmic move, you learn to discipline yourself to focus on accurately showcasing each movement.

Jones, who has been with Brass Vixens since day it first began, teaches all levels of pole dancing, stretch and conditioning classes.

Students are not limited to just pole dancing, each studio offers a variety of other classes including aerial, burlesque and lyra.

“For me, getting into actual teaching was built here. I loved being able to make people happy, make them smile. People being appreciative of me and what I was helping them with sparked a love of teaching,” said Jones.

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CanCulture/Madi Wong

Abby Ramzi, an instructor at Brass Vixens, said that pole dancing is more than just a dance form to her.

"When I first started pole dancing, I had kind of negative perceptions about my body and myself and I just wasn't very comfortable being a woman. Just being in a time, growing up, [and] being in a culture where there’s a lot of pressure on women to look and behave in a certain way,” Ramzi said.

Before she became an instructor, she was a student who tried out a class after discovering the studio on Groupon. “I tried the first class and I was hooked ever since .. I just can’t get enough. I never stop,” she said.

Ramzi said that with pole, she is able to just be herself and strives to share that same feeling with her students. She wants each person to feel comfortable, grow and transfer their energy and perception into a more positive outlook on themselves.

Pole dancing is empowering, it releases your inner power and takes you to a new level of body confidence and positivity.

“People come in here, all shapes, all sizes, all ages. Men and women and everything in between. They come in with maybe low-self esteem and they leave with friends, they leave with a new version of themselves after their first class,” said Jones.

“So, we’re not just working on your physical fitness, we’re working on your health, well-being and state of mind.”

Both Ramzi and Jones said that their favourite part about Brass Vixen’s is the community and people they meet along the way.

Being in the studio, where the atmosphere is as lively and as engaging with all types of people allows for the Vixens workers and students to forge bonds and build relationships.

“You meet women in their 60s who just want to try something different. You meet young guys who, you know, just want a different form of fitness. Everybody has their own story and it is all unique … The relationships you build here are like nothing else,” said Jones.

WITCHfest North 2017: Out of the Broom Closet

By: Luke Elisio

The inaugural celebration of Witch pride in Toronto brought together Witches, Wiccans and Pagans to bring visibility to one of Toronto’s most unknown communities.

In Canada, it used to be illegal to fraudulently pretend to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration. Strangely enough, this law isn't from 1692 as most would expect. It’s from 2017.

This unusually specific law, listed in section 365 of The Criminal Code of Canada, was repealed this past summer, sparking a wildfire of celebration amongst practicing Witches across the country. One of the brightest sparks of celebration was right here in Toronto.

Monica Bodirsky is a practicing Witch and founder of the Dark Moon Coven. She is also the program director and founder of WITCHfest North, a city-wide arts festival that wrapped up its inaugural celebration this past Sunday. The idea behind a festival that celebrated Witch pride grew out of Bodirsky’s desire to breakdown stereotypes and misconceptions that have surrounded Witch culture for decades.

“I thought, ‘let’s just jump onto this,” Bodirsky said. “I will bring a lot of women in the art forward so not only are we going to showcase talent, but let people know that we’re not so horrible and scary and we’ll show our diversity.”

Co-ordinating with the cycles of the moon, WITCHfest North held events throughout October and into early November. These events celebrated women in the arts and created a safe space where the Witches of Toronto could come together and be seen as a visible group. To kick off the celebration, an introductory meet-and-greet was held at Wonderworks, a metaphysical supply store that served as the central hub of the festival. Rochelle Holt, the owner of Wonderworks volunteered the shop’s services based on their long-standing relationship with Bodirsky.

Wonderworks, located at 25 Baldwin St. (D. Dejene).

Wonderworks, located at 25 Baldwin St. (D. Dejene).

“We’ve known Monica for years and she in the past has taught many courses at Wonderworks on different Pagan practices and has also done Tarot card readings and workshops,” Holt said. “She talked to me a long time ago about this and I fully encouraged her, I loved the idea.”

Other events included oracle and Tarot card readings hosted by the Lucky Divination Parlour, a panel discussion entitled “The Legacy of the Witch,” The Witches Attic Antique Sale, a pop-up shop where crystals, literature and spiritual supplies could be sold, and even a masquerade ball which included a dark art exhibit.

The main draw of the festival however was the WITCHwalk held on Halloween night. A crowd of Witches, some festively sportingpointy hats and broomsticks and others dressed simply in black, gathered outside Wonderworks to begin their march through the city streets. An entirely peaceful outing, the Witches paraded through the city, not to protest or argue, but simply to gain something that their community has been sorely lacking: visibility.

Stephanie Dayes, representing the Dark Moon Coven on the WITCHwalk (D. Dejene).

Stephanie Dayes, representing the Dark Moon Coven on the WITCHwalk (D. Dejene).

Real-life Witches share zero similarities with the otherworldly beings that have been portrayed in popular film and television series such as The Wizard of Oz, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and American Horror Story: Coven. Green skin, talking cats and the power to raise zombies from the deadare nothing more than imaginative works of fiction. Bodirsky’s personal definition of a Witch is a woman who is empowered and uses traditions of herbalism and energy to heal people and to change their environment for the better. Bodirsky’s made it clear though that women who identify as Witches each have their own definition for the term and her’s is not universal. For each Witch, the meaning and beliefs are different.

“I find one of the core beliefs in Witchcraft, Paganism, Wiccan, etc. is self-empowerment, being very proud of the being that you are, however strange or abnormal, however people perceive you,” said Brett Seivwright, one of the few male Witches attending the WITCHwalk.

Beginning at Wonderworks, a crowd of about 20 Witches set out on the WITCHwalk, their destination was the Toronto Public Labyrinth in Trinity Square Park. Bodirsky, proudly displaying a banner with the festival’s logo, briefly addressed the assemblage of Witches.

Raquel Ellesmere and Brett Seivwright show off their Witch pride (D. Dejene).

Raquel Ellesmere and Brett Seivwright show off their Witch pride (D. Dejene).

“It’s time we came together as a unified group and come together at least once a year to discuss our points of view as a unified group. Being proud of who we are is vital,” said Bodirsky.

High-pitched cackles and chants of, “we are the weavers, we are the web, we are the witches back from the dead,” filled the air as the proud group marched on, smiling and waving to their curious onlookers.

When the group finally arrived at the Toronto Public Labyrinth, they formed a circle and began the ritual of Samhain, which marks the end of the harvest season. The ritual is a way to honour their ancestors and those who have become before them whether they know them or not. Offerings of roses for love, sage for cleansing, and mugwort which gives the overall offering a special boost, were among the gifts left for the ancestors during the ritual.

Monica Bodirsky leads the group of Witches on the WITCHwalk (D. Dejene).

Monica Bodirsky leads the group of Witches on the WITCHwalk (D. Dejene).

“This time of year the veil [between worlds] is very thin and we can actually communicate with them a lot easier so we leave them offerings,” Sharmila Dey, one of the Witches participating in the ritual, said.

Whether it’s food, herbs or, flowers, the offerings left behind are a way of acknowledging and thanking the ancestors letting them know that just because they are gone does not mean they are forgotten.

Dey left offerings for her grandparents and great-grandparents, both of whom she had never met.

“I just let them know that I know they’re still around and if they want to communicate with me through any signs or if they want to come to me in my dreams, that I’m listening and I’m here for them and I thank them for the opportunity to be here today,” Dey said.

The following night the festival concluded with an intimate town hall meeting at Wonderworks where the organizers and participants could discuss the successes and missteps of the event as a whole. The group agreed that the opening and closing ceremonies were highlights, but press coverage was definitely lacking. Bodirsky pledged to not rest until WITCHfest North 2018 ends up on the front page of The Toronto Star.

Keeping the ideals of visibility, diversity and pride are at the heart of preparations for next year’s event, as Bodirsky has already eagerly begun planning the celebration.

“I really want to be creating a physical community and provide education in a respectable space for all of us. It’s why I called this first festival Out of the Broom Closet,” Bodirsky said. “Not only to support young women in the arts but just to start the whole conversation so people get past the word [witch] as a negative thing when actually it is something women are embracing. We’re basically reclaiming the term and showing people something other than green faces and warts.”

Nuit Blanche: One Sleepless Night in Toronto

By Kieona George

From dusk to dawn, Nuit Blanche illuminated Toronto’s streets with the theme of Many Possible Futures. A host of artists and activists amplified their voices through new formats, materials and technology, evoking the untold stories of history and bringing a new face to movements, people and places.

  Social awareness ran thick through the veins of every exhibit; splendor manifested into political consciousness and left every observer with a message and a memory. Monument to the Century of Revolutions reflected on some of the revolutions of the 20th century.

  “It’s important for the city to recognize that the people are suffering, and then to make it a space where people can talk about those things,” said Nato Thompson, curator of Century of Revolutions.

  The Viminal Space dove headfirst into the decriminalization of sex workers, putting a human face on an industry that is so often reviled. More or Less allowed viewers to post a selfie with resistance to poverty from the past as a backdrop, allowing the viewer to become an indelible part of a campaign to increase homeless shelters in Toronto with the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty.

  Thompson talked about his Bolshevist inspirations, with 2017 marking the 100-year anniversary since the revolution in Russia. It took two years for Thompson to create and finalize the idea, and more seven months to produce Century of Revolutions, which was formed in collaboration with the Russian collective “Chto Delat” (in English: “what is to be done?”).

Thompson’s original idea was to to recreate the raid of the Winter Palace by having cast members invade City Hall, but for obvious reasons, the deal was rejected. Thompson decided to present the curations in old cargo shipping containers, painting them as vessels of cultural spirit rather than vessels of material export. His piece inverted perspective, challenged the western archetype of excess and radically engaged our deeply-held notions of poverty.

Century of Revolutions crafted its own city from Thompson’s creative and political vision. The exteriors of the shipping containers were denude of their own significance; many containers of them were masterfully interwoven in mosaics of revolutionary paraphernalia like banners that read “There are cracks in everything, that’s how the light gets through.”

Spoken word recitals, musical performances, and various other resonances filled the ears from every direction. Every sense was encumbered by the extraordinary voice that found its way into each element of the exhibit. “Revolution is already happening," Thompson said. "The real question I ask is how can we connect our struggles so that we can achieve social justice not only in Toronto but across the world." Another artist delivered a moving spoken word performance about gun violence and her family’s experiences. Faduma Mohamed, a third-year English student at the University of Toronto, merged her personal struggles with gun violence to a hopeful future at RISE Edutainment’s installation.

“The voices of anyone feeling like they don’t belong in Canada are the most important voices,” she said. Despite her harrowing stories, Mohamed emitted an tone of acceptance and hope, her spirit permeated in those who heard her." “This world has multiple ways of making us feel small, but we don’t need to feel small,” Mohamed said. “We are larger than life.”

In keeping with the theme of social revolution, the exhibit Taking to the Streets expressed the intersection of art and protest, and how art imitating life allows people to promote tangible change.

  Curator Barbara Fischer said in her curatorial statement that the streets are the primordial for celebration and remembrance, making Nuit Blanche a fitting opportunity to highlight social justice.

  “When there is no justice, the street becomes the place where we rally and throw our voice together in a show of force,” Fischer said. “Festival and protest meet in the street, and art is associated with both, remembering by way of images, words, whispered histories, or monuments, the points where anger and power clash.”

  The exhibit included eight different projects. Holding Still/Holding Together, created by Annie MacDonell, was a performance that brought emphasis to the passivity of street protestors who offer little resistance when being subverted by police.

Horses was another one of Fischer’s installations, which featured a live group of horses, believe it or not. It took stock of the agitation that marks its own existence. It could be an homage to the understanding that strange times demand strange art, or it is situating the embodiments of visceral strength, power and wisdom in a place where these qualities are ironically lacking.

  Indigenous representation at the event was showcased in Life on Neebahgeezis, curated by Maria Hupfield. It was an Anishinaabe interpretation of David Bowie’s song Life on Mars, using the surreal qualities of the night to make Native stories present and urgent. One of the projects, Serpent People, included a series of theatrical performances as well as sculptures to showcase Indigenous identity. According to the Nuit Blanche website, the project was constructed from “Anishinaabe Intelligence” and fashioned from the stories of The Black Sturgeon from Nippissing First Nation.

  Participants from outside of Toronto may have been intrigued by the idea of an all-night event.

“If we have a night market where we’re from, it’s until 8 p.m.,” said first-year hospitality student Maya Donald-Hamblin who comes from Victoria, B.C.

The idea of staying out into the wee hours of the morning may offer a radical idea in on its own. Others weren’t aware of the purpose of the event entirely. Taye Robin, 18, thought that Nuit Blanche was an outdoor party, akin to a music festival or concert. His friend Devon Earle, 18, had previously been to Nuit Blanche and wanted him to discover it on his own. He said that the French name of the event draws people in with curiosity, and so it is something people have to plunge into without expectation.

  The Netflix program Stranger Things had its own installation on Osgoode Lane called Red Forest. Due to the show’s popularity, waiting in the line for the exhibit would be a time-consuming and tedious task. In fact, some people spent most of their night simply waiting in the admission line.

  Runnymede Collegiate student Shae Hayes said that she waited with her friends for two hours to walk through the show’s “Upside Down” imitation. The Upside Down is the fictitious alternate dimension in Stranger Things, filled with terrifying and alien creatures. At the end of the installation, there was a “plot twist” as the forest changed into the Twilight Drive-In from Netflix hit Riverdale. As a fan of the show, Hayes rated the exhibit highly.

  Torontonian Julian Gannon said Nuit Blanche shows the city in a different context to those who attend. Nuit Blanche undoubtedly spoke to a carefully curated mix of hip and heart, without for a second sacrificing the enduring cultural identity of Toronto.

  At its core, speaking truth seems to be what Nuit Blanche is about. Through the endless variety of art in all its forms — whether that is sculpture, paintings, projections, spoken word, or any other mode in the imagination — artists demand for their voices to be heard. The beauty of the night spoke to reflections and prospects for the future.

  “I think that when people come here, they end up learning what they wouldn’t learn otherwise,” said first-year dance student Katia Puritch. “They come for the art, and the art has a message.”