Let the "battle" begin

The Center for Political Participation (CPP) is hosting student activism themed events Friday to promote political involvement outside of the polls.

“Rock for Change 2010–Art and Activism” is the theme of the battle of the bands competition and art display, which will contain works with original music and works regarding political or social activism.

According to several members of the CPP, Richard Schafranek, ’10, conceived the idea and was the lead organizer for “Battle of the Bands.”

Professor Dan Shea, leader of the CPP, noted there has always been an interest in promoting political action through arts. 

There is a long standing tradition of using art and music to promote a political agenda, like the antiwar songs of the 1960s.

Shea sees this event as an opportunity to connect with different types of students and faculty and to have a great time.

“We’re hoping to draw lots of students into the program; the CPP often links its efforts with social science students, but most students on this campus don’t hang out in Quigley,” Shea said. “We’re trying to reach out to others across


This segment of the event will be held in Grounds for Change Friday from 7 to 11 p.m. and will feature musicians from both the campus and the local community.

Their songs may be in any style, but they must, in some way, convey a political of social message.

According to Shea, an estimated there to be around five or six bands attending. The event is open to all, free of charge.

There is, however, a $10 entry fee for competitors.

WARC will decide the winner of the competition with the announcement to be made around 10:30 p.m.

The first place winner(s) will receive $500, and second place will receive $100.

Alongside the battle will be a raffle for an iPod touch and T-shirt sale.

All proceeds from the band competition will benefit the Meadville Council on the Arts.

Furthermore, the CPP hopes to make this battle of the bands event an annual tradition.

“During planning discussions, we all thought it would be a good idea to do this event once a year, but we’ll see,” said Mary Solberg, CPP event coordinator.

“It takes a lot of work and coordination. However, next year, if we do this, it will be even better.”

Fellow member of the CPP Steven Jones, ’12, is also dedicated to the success of the event.

“I think it’s a good project, Jones said. “I think the CPP is on the sidelines for a lot of stuff, but I feel like this will get a lot more of a general audience than the politically involved students.”

“Events at the Tippie Center usually attract 60 people. We’re hoping this will attract maybe 100 or more.”

Although Jones is on board, Stephanie Clark, ’12, has a rather different view on the event.

Let the two battle it out on stage.

“I think it’s interesting, but I don’t know, for me, music is a way to transcend political, religious and social differences between people,” Clark said.

“I just don’t think there should be a concert promoting the ‘politicality’ of the music, that’s not what music is for me. Music surpasses all of that and brings people together regardless of their political, religious or social views.”

Aside from the band competition, the CPP encourages students to visit the Rock for Change Art Gallery on Friday from 3 to 11 p.m. in room 206 of the Campus Center.