Professor Darius A. Frasure
The Mountain View College Culture of Writing Festival was planned and organized by the Culture of Writing Committee, a subcommittee of the Quality Enhancement Program (QEP) Committee, and chaired by Professor James Behan. This festival included a week of visual and performance art, music, and literature celebrating writing and the QEP at Mountain View College. Various departments within the College converged to make this festival memorable including: marketing, graphics, professional development, the Office of Student Life, facilities, media, administration, faculty and students.
The opening event took place, Tuesday, April 9, 2013 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Student Courtyard. Professor Darius Frasure facilitated performances by MVC faculty, staff, students, and professionals from the community. The open mic experience featured the MVC Dance Department with choreography by Professor Michelle Gibson. Professor Cristina Medina’s art students created drawings inspired by poems recited at the open mic. African drummer and storyteller, Leo Hassan, poet AJ Houston, and actress Ashley Wilkerson performed as special guests, while students registered for the week’s workshops and listened to stories recorded in the Common Book Storytelling Booth by participants during the fall.
Wednesday and Thursday, writing workshops were conducted throughout the day by faculty and administration from Mountain View College and the University of North Texas at Dallas. The workshops were facilitated by Mr. Kevin Williams, Director of the MVC Writing Center, The Ink Spot. In addition to these celebratory events, the Writing Reference Library was renamed to celebrate the legacy of Professor Lew Sayers.
Closing events took place Friday, April 12, 2013, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Tree Top Lounge and Cliff Art Gallery in the form of Mountain View College’s “DaVerse Lounge.” DaVerse, considered the best open mic and creative experience for young people in North Texas, was founded in 2005 at the Dallas Theater Center by poet Will Richey. Richey is also the founder of the art literacy organization, Journeyman Ink. MVC’s DaVerse Lounge was held in conjunction with the Lucas Martell Exhibit Reception, and curated by David Kirkland. The seven piece band Melody Memory, led by Alejandro Perez Jr., played original tunes and improvised behind participants of the open mic event. International World Slam Poetry Champion, Joaquin Zihuatanejo and host of the “Natty Roots Open Mic,” Natasha Carrizosa performed feature sets. Artist and co-founder of multidisciplinary art organization, ArtLoveMagic, David Rodriguez created a painting for the MVC Writing Center, and attendees responded to the experience, drawing their own works of art with Professor Cristina Medina’s art club. Nationally renowned art organization, Big Thought bussed student participants in their Thriving Minds program from Wilmer Hutchins and L. V. Stockard Middle Schools. At the end of the night, the winners of the 2013 MVC Culture of Writing Poetry Competition were announced. Traye Sims won 3rd Place, Patrick Hughes won 2nd Place, and Heidi Bennett won 1st Place, which included an Apple iPad ™ from the Office of Student Life. More than 200 students participated in festival activities.