By Jacob Forbes, Staff Writer
This Friday, USM kicks off its Convocation event-series with a free concert open to the public at 4:30 p.m. on the Payson-Smith Lawn. The concert will feature Sabouyouma, an Afro-Funk group based in Vermont, M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, an NYC-based pan-Latino party band, USM student performers and the Philadelphia-based rapper-singer Ivy Soul. Along with the music, there will be food trucks, spoken word poetry, dance and art activities.
The concert is a collaborative opening-event between the Waking Windows Festival and the USM Convocation event series. Waking Windows is an 18 venue, two-day affair featuring over 100 bands, authors, artists, DJs, thinkers, and comedians. This Friday and Saturday, across Bayside and Congress Street, venues such as Geno’s, The Space Gallery, New Systems Exhibitions, Tandem Coffee and the Apohadion Theater will be opening their spaces for a variety of performers and artists from around the country.
USM Convocation is “focusing on events that encourage our audience to actively engage with the theme – whether that’s to listen, dance and sing along at our opening concert, to attend our workshops or participate in our discussion groups” says Rebecca Nisetich, the Director of the USM Honor program and a part of the team that organizes the Convocation events.
This year’s Convocation events will illuminate on their previous year’s theme of “Race and Participatory Democracy.” Scheduled later this fall is a lecture from a chaired professor at New York Law School and former President of the American Civil Liberties Union, Nadine Strossen as well as a screening of Dawnland, a film documenting the forcible removal of Native American children from their home communities. More information about USM Convocation can be found here.
The Waking Windows Festival advertises to have “a little something for everyone” this weekend and they may actually mean it when they join a feminist art-collective (New Fruit), neo-soul, hip-hop groups (Jaw Jems), a “lit-crawl” (Page Burner Reading Series) and much more under one event. More information about tickets and performance times can be found here.
With the events that Waking Windows and USM Convocation plan to offer, any student will find something of interest in the diverse amount of rhythms, ideas, and conversations going on in Portland this fall.