UCCS’ 2023 Student Led VAPA festival is full of events for every student 

This year’s VAPA Festival is packed with events from every discipline within the department, allowing students to bring their creative projects to campus. Starting on Wednesday, April 26 and ending on Sunday, April 30, the VAPA festival will send students off to summer with a spectacle.  

This year’s theme is “Stars Above,” with the aim of promoting “stories that are told in the stars and constellations above and as a subtle reference to the heavens,” VAPA music representative and sophomore music composition major Jadon Cruzan said.  He attributed the VAPA Festival poster design to contest winner Grace Whitehorn, whose work will be on display across campus.  

According to Cruzan, Wednesday will start with a Musical Theater Karaoke event and end with the festival’s Opening Ceremony at 7:30 p.m.  

On Thursday, there will be performances including an Interdisciplinary Concert, where UCCS Visual Art Major Dee Philip Jr. will create live charcoal drawings in response to an impromptu piano piece. Thursday finishes up with two dance performances from UCCS’s Samba and Dance Composition classes, an art history gallery where students will dress as artists throughout history and an improv game night.   

Friday features a composition song writing concert, a discussion about student playwrights, the opening of student directed production “Circle Mirror Transformation,” and a silent film viewing where students will perform a newly composed film score live alongside the viewing.  

Saturday will include an art exhibition and auction, as well as the annual UCCS Student Short Film Festival, where, according to Cruzan, any student can submit their work to be viewed at the festival, film major or not.  

Lastly, on Sunday, the festival will close out with a few UCCS acapella club performances and the highly anticipated Talent Show at 7:30 p.m. According to Cruzan, there are 14 performers signed up for the talent show.  

Cruzan and Philip emphasized their love for the festival, and hope that students across the UCCS campus show their interest in VAPA and attend as many events as possible.  

“All [the events] are super open to everybody. We want to get people from all across campus because this campus is a wee bit separated and I’d love all of our biology majors to come check out some live charcoal drawing,” Cruzan said.  

“You don’t really need to be an artsy person to enjoy some live drawing or a talent show,” Philip said. “These are all events that I think any discipline can enjoy.” 

The festival events are all orchestrated and organized by the VAPA Board, which, excluding faculty chair Glenn Whitehead, is lead by students.  

Photo from entcenterforthearts.org.