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Mayfest to be bigger than ever with new programs for SU, ESF, CNY communities
Mayfest to be bigger than ever with new programs for SU, ESF, CNY communitiesMarch 06, 2006Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
Syracuse University’s first-ever Mayfest was successful beyond all expectations. On May 4, 2005, some 1,200 SU students joined in a salute to student works of creativity, discovery, research and innovation. They presented more than 125 performances, presentations, demonstrations and experiments to more than 1,000 local high school students and hundreds of members of the SU and Central New York communities.
In response, SU has made Mayfest a permanent part of the academic calendar and has significantly expanded programming for 2006. While the program keeps the Mayfest name, it will happen in April — no classes will be held on Tuesday, April 25, a date chosen to maximize opportunities for students, faculty, staff and the public to attend. Also new for this year is Mayfest afterDark, an evening of food, family-friendly entertainment and intellectual stimulation for community members.
“Mayfest is a unique outpouring of students’ talent and commitment to learning, and it has become one of the most exciting events on this campus,” says James Spencer, director of SU’s Soling Program and organizer of Mayfest. “Last year’s participants were so thrilled by what they experienced — and our students are so delighted to be able to share their works — that we are compelled to make it an even bigger day of events, and open it up as an interactive experience for the many communities with which SU is engaged. Everyone will come away with the sense of excitement that runs through the University’s active pursuit of knowledge.”
The day’s events
Mayfest will be free and open to the public, with free parking available in the West Campus lots: Stadium, Henry, Fine and Standart. Events will take place in various locations on and around the Quad, as well as in the Carrier Dome.
“The day of Mayfest will create an exciting and intellectual atmosphere, inviting people into the spaces of the University to be entertained and educated,” Spencer says. “We’ll have African drumming, giant puppets, medieval prose fights, the explosive chemistry magic shows and many other sights and sounds to appeal to inquisitive minds of all ages.” More than 200 events are anticipated, including a variety of dance performances, improvisational and stand-up comedy, many music performances, magazine launch parties and presentations of academic research. For 2006, Mayfest will also include events hosted by SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry students.
Events are being added daily to the daytime program, which will take place from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. The deadline for members of the SU community to register their events is March 22; events can be registered online byvisiting http://mayfest.syr.edu/PresentersForm2.htm.
Mayfest’s outreach to high school students has increased as well. Many high schools are already registered to attend, some from as far away as New York City, Long Island and New Jersey, and SU is working with teachers and school administrators to arrange bus parking and other details in order to facilitate teachers bringing students to Mayfest as a field trip. “High schoolers find this an exciting introduction to the intellectual challenge of the college experience,” says Spencer. “It gives young people an idea of the breadth and depth of intellectual engagement that goes on at Syracuse University.”
Mayfest is made possible in part by WAER-FM. For more information, including updates to the list of events, parking details, registration for student attendees and event registration details,visit http://mayfest.syr.edu.
Originally conceived as a way to let more SU staff and working families in Central New York participate in the excitement of Mayfest, the Mayfest afterDark concept hasexpanded to include a variety of audiences, including alumni, senior citizens, parents of SU students and other friends of the University. The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. with dinner on the Quad and musical accompaniment; a variety of amusements and entertainments will follow from 6-9:30 p.m. The events are free and open to the public; dinner will require tickets, the cost of which will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets will be available starting April 3 at the Schine Box Office, which can be reached by calling (315) 443-4517. Free public parking will be available in the West Campus lots, with continuous shuttle bus service to and from the Quad.
The 15 performances presented in the evening will be organized into five “centers” around the Quad, enabling attendees to plan ahead for participation in several events. The centers — Instrumental Music, Choral Music, Science, International and Storytelling — will each feature entertainment and conversation with accomplished groups or speakers.
Presenters and performers include the SU Wind Symphony, the SU Brass Ensemble, the SU Symphony Orchestra, the Black Celestial Choral Ensemble, the University Singers, the SU Women’s Chorus, the Chemistry and Physics Magic Shows, the International Festival, Francis McMillan Parks of Hendricks Chapel and Open Hand Theater. The schedule is designed to appeal to adults as well as children, providing families with sophisticated, engaging entertainment that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
“From the beginning, Mayfest has been designed to provide an extraordinary opportunity to see what Syracuse University does the very best,” Spencer says. “As we increasingly reach out to the community, it is fitting that we provide all members with the opportunity to participate in this unique celebration.”
Mayfest afterDark is made possible in part by WCNY. To learn more about Mayfest or Mayfest afterDark,visit http://mayfest.syr.edu or contact the Soling Program at (315) 443-3133.