The campus green north of Zwemer Hall bustled with activity. The sound of acoustic guitar blending with children’s laughter bubbled up smiles from everyone around. Last year, the curtain rose on the very first Beloved Music and Arts Festival put on by La Mosaic and the I-Club. This year, on April 26, the festival will be repeated and revitalized with plenty more to entice and enthrall those who join the crowd.
From 5 to 7:30 p.m., the campus green will be alive with food, fun, music and more. Like last year, there will be lawn games, food and student performances, but henna and a few still-under-wraps surprises will be added to its repertoire. The meal will consist of pulled pork, burgers, pasta, salad, chips, watermelon and a few other summer staples. For those not enticed by that menu, there is potential for food trucks to be coming to campus to celebrate the event; though, this is yet to be fully worked out. The entire night will be open to the public; however, the meal will cost a price yet to be determined for anyone who is not a student or faculty member at Northwestern.
Rahn Franklin, the director of multicultural student development at NW, said, “the Beloved Music and Arts Festival brings our community together to celebrate neighborly love through music and art.”
What better way to bring people together than to bring back NW alumni for the event? Devon Cadwell is a ‘13 psychology alumni working at Jackson Recovery Centers in Sioux City, Iowa, as well as a musician. His alternative blues pulls in audiences everywhere he plays.
This year’s Beloved Music and Arts Festival will feature Cadwell as the main act preceded by many student performances of dances, songs and spoken word poetry.
Debola Adeyemo, the original creator of the event, said this year will emphasize aesthetics while last year was just getting people to come. That is why they are offering more and spending more time collaborating with people like Drew Schmidt who understand the logistics of an event as well as decorating.
There has already been a difference from this past year when it comes to asking businesses to donate or help with aspects of the event.
“There is more rapport, and people are already excited,” Adeyemo said, which is exactly what her vision has been. Adeyemo hopes that the festival will turn into “Coachella, but at Northwestern” and will continue to grow as the years go by.