NMU hosts arts and athletics showcase

NMU+hosts+arts+and+athletics+showcase

Ashley Beronja

On Saturday, Sept. 26 at 7:30 p.m., students, community members, NMU alumni, parents and friends will have the opportunity to watch the Arts and Athletics exclusive showcase for Homecoming 2020. Those who attend will be able to take a virtual walk through the arts and athletics at NMU.

The Arts and Athletics showcase is hosted by the NMU Alumni Association and in partnership with the Art & Design, Theatre and Dance, Music departments as well as NMU Athletics. Kylie Bunting, digital engagement architect for alumni relations, shared that despite no in-person events going on, NMU Alumni Association still wanted to put on an event to connect alumni with the university.

“We started talking with Bill about the music and dance program and tossing out ideas of what we can do. It started out to just be an arts showcase, but overtime when football was cancelled it evolved into both arts and athletics,” Bunting said. “It’s a behind the scenes look at the arts and athletics here at NMU.”

Hosted by Bill Digneit, director of the Department of Theatre and Dance, and Erin Colwitz, director of Choral Activities, guests will experience performances by students from the marching band, dance program, choral and theatre as well as showcases from art and design students such as photography and furniture design.

“The event will showcase performances by students in the dance program, theatre performances and a segment showing the technical aspects of theatre and the arts choral. On the athletics side, we will have interviews with coaches and possibly some behind the scenes practice footage,” Bunting said. “It’s an opportunity to see what’s going on and to see that students are still pulling together and still do amazing things despite this weird and strange circumstances that we are under as well as give alumni a chance to see what’s going on.”

One of the students featured in the showcase is Brigitte Bartesch, junior dance major, who performed among other dancers in a compilation video featuring dances throughout campus. Bartesch said through an email that despite the circumstances, she was happy that this was able to be put on still.

“I am just happy that we can make the best out of these unfortunate circumstances,” Bartesch said. “Holding the event virtually is the best and safest way to celebrate homecoming.”

Despite COVID-19 changing many of the school traditions here, Bartesch is happy this was able to be put on at all, even if it is only through a virtual event versus an in-person event, she said.

“NMU has already done such an amazing job with handling COVID-19. We are all so lucky that we can still be on campus during this time,” Bartesch said. “Even though this homecoming event will be held virtually this year, it’s better than doing nothing at all. We’re all making the best out of the situation and we’re all in this together.”

Erin Colwitz, director of choirs and co-host, said that she hopes the showcase will become a yearly event for alumni to connect back with NMU as well as students, family members, friends, and community members.

“I think this is part of the silver-lining with COVID-19 is that we will be able to have all this video content and be able to submit and send it out to highschools, use it for recruitment, publicity for NMU,” Colwitz said. “So hopefully this is something we can continue at least in a virtual way.”

While COVID-19 has made the current school year different and challenging for some to feel connected with what is going on throughout campus. This event is a great chance for everyone to see what is still going on at NMU, said Colwitz.

“Life is still going on. It’s challenging and it’s difficult during this time,” Colwitz said. “All these things are still happening. We just can’t do it like we used to do.”


For more information about the showcase event, additional homecoming events and other events coming up this year, email the NMU Alumni Association at [email protected] or visit their webpage at nmu.edu/alumni/homecoming.