University honors program showcases students

Artistic students across majors will show their talents at Northrop Auditorium.

by Isabella Romano

Danylo Loutchko, an English and theatre major, has been enamored with magic since his Boy Scout leader showed him a sleight of hand trick when he was in kindergarten. 
“People’s perception of magic is really low,” Loutchko said. “But the good stuff is definitely on par with more conventional forms of art. The emotion that comes from a great performance is the same.”
Loutchko is excited for the opportunity to show the artistic side of magic as the University Honors Program hosts the premiere of “Meet Me at Northrop: An Evening with the Arts.” 
The showcase is a continuation of last year’s Meet Me at Northrop event. While last year centered around academics — with a theme of environmental sustainability — this year is a celebration of the arts. 
“This gives the students a chance to utilize their entire selves,” UHP associate director Pamela Baker said. “For the art students involved, it allows them to work outside their discipline’s norms. For those who aren’t studying the arts, it allows them to return to their previous interests [in the arts.]”
Loutchko jumped at the chance to partake in the showcase because he isn’t pursuing his artistic passion academically. 
“I like performing, and I haven’t had a chance to do something this formal in a while,” Loutchko said. “Plus, Northrop is such a cool place to be.”
Eight students from a variety of majors will take the stage for the showcase premiere.  
“We want to promote access across disciplines,” Baker said. “This is a part of community-building.”
Between the eight students, there will be two visual displays in painting and drawing, a cello performance, a piano performance, a short claymation film, Loutchko’s magician act and two theatrical performances. 
In preparation, UHP sent out an email to all of its students inviting them to apply to be in the showcase. 
“[The students] were chosen so that they fit cohesively,” UHP events and programming coordinator Sam Hahn said. “We wanted the acts to complement each other. We also
wanted them to represent a variety of areas across campus.”
Meet Me at Northrop was created last year as a way of connecting UHP to its new home at Northrop.  
“It was decided that Northrop would be a good place for UHP to be housed because our students represent all students,” Baker said. “The idea is that Northrop should be a center — or an epicenter, if you will.”
Baker and Hahn are particularly excited to be hosting the event in the Best Buy Theater. 
With a capacity of 168 people, the venue is very intimate. 
“It’s an amazing space,” Baker said. “It really changes a performance when you can see the faces of the audience. It’s a great opportunity for the students to engage with the audience.”
The grand opening will be followed by smaller, daytime showcases. These will be held the first Tuesday of each month. 
UHP will begin accepting applications from its students to fill these performances shortly after the premier. 
“The hope is that with programming like [Meet Me at Northrop] students should see Northrop as a place to be,” Baker said. “We like to think of the University Honors Program as an incubator. These community oriented ideas don’t have to stop here.”