UNLV Represented at Recent “Rise up! Risk Something Real” Summit

Mar. 12, 2020

Molly Redfield, Doctoral of Music Arts student in the School of Music and the Leadership Fellow to Dr. Nancy J. Uscher, as well as the Graduate Assistant to the College of Fine Arts, wrote the following about the most recent trip representing the College of Fine Arts as a cohort team at the Arts to Research Universities, a2ru, Emerging Creatives Student Summit hosted by Cincinnati University titled, “Rise up! Risk Something Real.”

I am honored and humbled to have attended the “Rise up! Risk Something Real” summit with my team of colleagues, Brian Hollander Master of Fine Arts Student and graduate assistant in the Department of Theater, Mohammad Alhulaibi Masters student from the School of Architecture, and Justin Sith undergraduate student from the Entertainment and Engineering Design program.

During this four-day summit, we experienced conference style lectures and immersive workshops surrounding the theme of social justice through the arts. From the keynote speaker, Public Enemy rapper Chuck D, to the lecture series by Dr. Niki Taylor and Dr. Flauvia Bastos, a common theme was established of know geography and history. Because through history culture is taught, through culture people come together, and through culture we raise critical consciousness that saves our democracy and maintains visibility for underrepresented and erased communities.

As the summit format shifted into workshops, students experienced simulations of poverty, perspectives of institutional forces that marginalize and remove Black Americans from society, and leading protests through singing and body percussion. Providing each participant with ample knowledge of systemic oppression and how to rise up and protest this perpetuated system.

Throughout the summit, we were assigned groups to collaborate and create a culminating project based on our reception of the lectures and workshops. 

Attending this summit was inspiring to me and gave me insight into my research for my document which is a branch of African American studies. The networking and dinner table discussions I had with my colleagues motivated me to continue to study and document the history of underrepresented groups. The final words I have for you are from Chuck D and Dr. Taylor. "You first have to change your mind, then change your household, then change your block before you change the world and you must risk something real because it is not about you but because it is greater than you."