After a virtual event in 2021, the Shirley Strum Kenny (SSK) Student Arts Festival will be back live and in person in 2022.
The annual event, from April 12-27, brings together academic, administrative and student organization communities to showcase the diversity of Stony Brook university students through their creative endeavors. Students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to all events.
The festival honors former president Shirley Strum Kenny, who proposed the original festival in 1996 and fostered opportunities for students, faculty, staff and community members in the humanities and the arts, both in and out of the classroom, during her Stony Brook career.
The local community will be treated to 15 days of eclectic performances, workshops and panels. Events will be hosted by the Staller Center for the Arts, Paul W. Zuccaire Gallery, Charles B. Wang Center, Student Activities Center, campus residences, campus dining, the Faculty Student Association, Undergraduate Student Government and member clubs, academic departments and the Graduate Student Organization. Student artwork will be exhibited in various locations on campus throughout the festival.
The festivities include the SSK Student Arts Festival Award Ceremony and Reception, taking place on Tuesday, April 26, in the Tabler Center Performance Space, featuring a guest lecture by Stony Brook alumna Mary Beth Medley ’70. Medley served as student activities board concert chair during her time at Stony Brook, and went on to serve in a variety of key roles for major rock acts, including The Rolling Stones, The Who and Lynyrd Skynyrd, during a long career in the music industry.
“It started as a weekend event coordinated by Sanger College in Tabler Quad, which was the campus residence building affiliate of the interdisciplinary arts minor,” said Norm Prusslin, director of the media arts minor and a faculty member in the Department of Theatre Arts. “Over the years it grew to become the far-reaching program we now offer.”
Several awards are presented during the festival, including the Sandy Pearlman (’66) Student of the Year award, the Sandy Pearlman Student Organization of the Year Award and the Alumni Award. An additional partner award is presented to a nonprofit arts organization or individuals not affiliated with Stony Brook but who are regularly involved in supporting Stony Brook students in the arts. Past honorees include the YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts in Bay Shore, The Jazz Loft in Stony Brook and the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
Stony Brook faculty, staff and undergraduate and graduate students facilitate the festival. Students have an opportunity to assist with planning by enrolling in LIA 488, a one-credit satisfactory/unsatisfactory-graded internship with requirements focused on all aspects of the festival.
— Robert Emproto