Arts & Entertainment

Farewell Column

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Shannon Neu
   A&E Editor

I believe that something truly amazing is happening in Greensboro. From innovative college students developing new ways to change the world through art to the growing number of local small businesses that provide spaces for artists, more and more people in this city are creating ways to promote self-expression, build community and even speak out regarding social and political conflicts through the arts.

           UNCG has one of the largest performing arts departments in the U.S., an exceptional art department and a vast number of other programs that encourage students to be creative in their fields. Greensboro has blossoming small businesses that support local arts by providing spaces for them to perform and display their work. We were the top choice out of cities all over the country to host the National Folk Festival in 2015, 2016 and 2017. UNCG Jazz Professor Steve Haines is encouraging others to use art to protest House Bill 2 by performing outdoors (anywhere that is legal) at 1 p.m. on April 30. Artistic nonprofit organizations such as Triad Stage and Elsewhere engage guests’ imaginations by challenging the standards of traditional arts spaces. Greensboro consistently provides us with innovative opportunities to partake in the arts in order to connect with the community and make sense out of the crazy, fast paced world we live in.

           The arts scene in Greensboro is unlike anything I have ever seen, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to explore it and write about it.

           Working for the A&E section of the Carolinian as both a writer and an editor has been an eye-opening journey. I have loved getting to work with some truly amazing artists from the UNCG and the Greensboro community. Supporting them and spreading word of their creative endeavors has been incredibly fulfilling.

I have a fairly introverted personality, so when I took a staff writer position in January 2015, the idea of interviewing strangers was absolutely petrifying. I was unsure of my capability to do an effective job of interviewing others and then portraying them and their work in a meaningful way. However, my overwhelming desire to learn how to be a journalist took precedence over my apprehension, so I forced myself out of my monotonous, social anxiety-consumed bubble and became a staff writer for the A&E section.

           Shoving myself out of my comfort zone is by far one of the best decisions I have ever made. I quickly developed a passion for meeting new people and learning about their creative capacities. I met some incredible people on UNCG’s campus and around the Greensboro community that I likely would not have had the chance to encounter otherwise. I learned to look for meaning in ways I never would have considered before working for the publication.

           At the beginning of the fall 2015 semester, I took another significant step away from my comfort zone and took on the role of the A&E section editor.  I had the opportunity to work alongside a brilliant (and slightly insane) editorial board and lead a very hardworking section of writers.

           More than anyone, I want to thank this year’s editor-in-chief and my dear friend, Emily Bruzzo. She fueled me with the confidence I needed to apply for a writing position in the first place (as well as the section editor position later on) and I am eternally grateful. From being roommates as freshmen to transforming a college newspaper as seniors, we have done a lot of growing up together. She inspires me every day with her fervent passion, relentless optimism and fearlessness. She is one of the hardest working people I have ever met in my life and I love that we have been able to go through this journey together over the past four years.

           This publication has helped me grow in ways I never expected. Not only have I learned about myself and my writing, but I have significantly developed my leadership abilities. It has helped me find direction. I have always been passionate about the arts, and working for the Carolinian provided me with an opportunity to deepen that love. The arts and writing are some of the greatest loves of my life and I look forward to continuing to engage in both in the future.

           With that said, I encourage everyone reading this to go out and be inspired by at least one of the many artistic opportunities this amazing city has to offer! Greensboro is up to some incredible things and I cannot wait to see what it does next.

 

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