All About Art and Performing Arts Clubs
Universities are frequently hotbeds of cultural innovation due to the energy and creativity of their students. One of the many benefits of going to university is the chance to be part of that cultural melting pot through joining certain clubs and societies. In particular, students can not only enjoy appreciating the arts at university; they can choose to become artists themselves, through a variety of media. Many a successful career has been launched through participation in productions organised, and led, by university arts societies. So what can the artistic student expect from Art and Performing Arts clubs?
VarietyOne thing students will notice about university is the sheer variety of clubs and societies which cater for different art-forms. A typical union may have clubs for various genres of music, such as Rock, Jazz and Classical, as well as an Orchestra Society. Similarly, there may be a Theatre Society as well as a Musical Society, producing separate shows for the same stage. Although there is often some overlap between clubs, this does mean that if you only want to be involved in activities specific to your interests, you are well catered for. However, if you happen to be one of those all-singing, all-dancing students, then you will have myriad of opportunities to establish yourself as one of the university’s leading lights!
ExperienceIf you are someone seriously aspiring to a career in entertainment or art, whether as a performer, director, agent or producer, university clubs hold many benefits for you. The experience you can gain from participation in university productions and regular events will be invaluable, and can often act as a springboard to future success. For example, as a musician, it is hard to think of another environment where you will be guaranteed regular opportunities to showcase your talents at well-attended events with generous, appreciative audiences. If you intend to become the maestro behind the camera, then the experience of directing unruly, unprofessional students will stand you in good stead when you have to deal with the stars. There are even opportunities for those who dream of unglamorous jobs, such as set design and production. Often a drama club will be strapped for cash, operating on a very small budget, and ingenuity and resourcefulness in set design will be essential; just imagine the benefit of that experience when you’re suddenly given a multi-million pound budget for a feature film.
AppreciationBut art and performing arts clubs are not just about learning to perform; they’re also about giving students the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy art. Many clubs will have access to discounted theatre, opera or concert tickets; take advantage of these offers, as these benefits will not last forever. The arts are increasingly expensive for the average person to afford, so take every opportunity to absorb the artistic world that surrounds the typical university. It’s also important, though, to go along to your club’s events, and to support your fellow students’ art. Many of the best comedians the UK has produced started off at university, and it is improbable that they would have continued to ply their trade had they not received such backing from their fellow students.
FriendshipThe support just mentioned, of course, manifests itself most strongly in the friendships that can grow up around the shared enjoyment of art. By joining a club, a student signals that they are a like-minded enthusiast with the other members of the group. It is no surprise, therefore, that clubs and societies have helped to develop entire social circles, as well as highly productive creative collectives such as Cambridge University’s Footlights, which produced many of the UK’s foremost comedians of the 1960s and 1970s.
Although most students – most people – will not be setting their sights so high, the same principles of like-minded friendship apply across the board, from the smallest Drama Society to the most successful, popular Live Music Club. Arts Clubs are a great way for students to make friends in their university, while simultaneously giving opportunities to explore their talents and interests.