Cal U Celebrates Arts and Culture

Oct 01, 2019

The third annual Liberal Arts Festival was held Oct. 1 at the Convocation Center.

  • - Athena Georgagis from California High School, paints rocks.

  • - Cal U's Zechariah Ingram helps at the Psychology Club's table.

  • - Cal U junior Raquel Rhoads works on a craft project.

  • - Raquel Rhoads enjoys working on her project.

  • - Yamilette Garcia (left) and Ana Corona at the Hispanic Student Association photo booth.

  • - Haleigh Lee has her face painted with a fall leaf scene.

  • - Ayushna Rai, from Brentwood High School, checks out her face paint.

  • - Alumna Carli Cox and junior Joe Buzzeo perform outside the Convocation Center.

The Convocation Center was transformed into a celebration of art and culture around the world on Oct. 1 for the third annual Liberal Arts Festival at California University of Pennsylvania. 

More than 500 high school students and teachers, as well as members of the Cal U community and public attended the event. 

Emphasizing the importance of a liberal arts education, the fair showcased the various forms of work and art from students and faculty in the departments of Art and Languages; Communication, Design and Culture; Criminal Justice; English; History, Politics, Society and Law; Music and Theatre; Psychology; and the Honors Program. 

“Our festival continues to grow and improve,” said event organizer Andrea Cencich, from the Arts and Language Department. “I’m so proud of our Cal U students, and this is truly a celebration of culture, arts, and diversity.” 

Assisting Cencich were Sabrina Hykes-Davis, from Music and Theatre; Amanda Magdic, from the Admissions Office; and Becky McMillen, from University Conference Services. 

Hykes-Davis said the liberal arts infuses many skills from other academic areas, including her field of design and entertainment technology. 

“This festival is so important because students and people can come and see all of the different facets of the College,” she said. “Painting is technology, and because of this festival we get a wonderful opportunity to talk and interact.”

Sydney Smichnick, a senior at nearby California Area High School, wants to study political science and minor in Spanish. She enjoyed Chinese writing and painting skulls made from sugar. 

“I’m pretty interested in all of this, especially learning about different cultures, and what I am seeing today all relates to what I want to do,” she said. 

Adam Majed, a junior from Brentwood High School, enjoyed looking at costumes at the “Fashions for the Stage 1880 through 1980” booth. 

“The liberal arts are fun, and I like to build things,” he said. “This place is really nice and I am enjoying walking around and seeing as much as I can.” 

The costumes that Marissa Sorenson helped to design caught his eye. 

“Getting involved with other aspects gives you a complete sense on what goes on as an actor,” said Sorenson, a junior majoring in theatre with a concentration in musical theatre. “The festival is such a great outlet to explain and show people what we do.” 

Preschool children from the Rutledge Institute for Early Childhood Education and The Village childcare and preschool were first-time participants. The little ones performed a medieval skit, decorated suitcases and pounded drums at the Arabic Corner. 

“They love going to events on campus and have enjoyed this so much,” said Ashley Roth, assistant director of the Rutledge Institute, director of The Village, and an instructor at Cal U. “Hopefully we will come back every year.” 

The festival was held in Manderino Library for its first two years. 

T. David Garcia, vice president for Enrollment Management, welcomed some of the visiting students while attending his first festival since arriving on campus last March. 

“Cal U is a special place and this is very impressive and an ideal way to showcase our school to prospective students,” he said. 

The Office of the President and Office of Academic Affairs were the sponsors. Co-sponsoring the festival were the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of Art and Languages, Department of Music and Theatre, and Office of Graduate Studies and Research.