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WAM-O-RAMA is back: The Weisman will welcome students to campus with a jam-packed day on the plaza

The event on Sept. 10 will offer live music, food and art activities — all free for students.
Abby Capistrant and Steven Bulfer, sophomores at the U, spend time coloring at WAM-O-Rama at the Weisman Art Museum on Sept. 8, 2017.
Image by Courtney Deutz
Abby Capistrant and Steven Bulfer, sophomores at the U, spend time coloring at WAM-O-Rama at the Weisman Art Museum on Sept. 8, 2017.

Like many aspects of pre-pandemic life, WAM-O-RAMA is coming back this year with a bang.

The Weisman Art Museum (WAM) will hold its annual fall event on Friday, Sept. 10. Between performances from local artists, a pop-up from Radio K’s hip-hop stream and art-making activities, WAM-O-RAMA celebrates creative collaboration and the return of in-person activities at the University of Minnesota.

After a long year of online classes, the event will serve as a gathering place to celebrate being on campus, whether it’s for the first time or as a returning student.

“Some students may be second-years but they haven’t been to campus yet. That’s another reason we really wanted to push to have this program this year,” said Laura Pilarski, a program assistant at WAM. “It’s really our ‘welcome back’ to students.”

The back-to-school festival on the museum’s plaza will kick off at noon with an art-making activity from the Toaster Innovation Hub. At 1 p.m., WAM tour guides will be leading a public art walking tour, which is a great opportunity to explore the University’s vast collection of sculptures and other art pieces. For anyone looking for a midday boost, Misfit Coffee Co. will also be on the plaza serving drinks throughout the afternoon.

Heading into the evening, the event will shift gears towards the WAM-O-RAMA concert. From 5-7 p.m., two artists presented by the Whole Music Club will take the stage outside the museum; Minneapolis-based rapper OB will open, followed by local band Rhino Shrine.

Before their performances and in between sets, Radio K will keep the vibes going with a pop-up from their hip-hop stream, The Vanguard.

“We really want to add to the environment that they’re creating, which is super cool,” said Claire Knudten, training director at Radio K.

Knudten said that WAM-O-RAMA will demonstrate the creative collaboration that goes on at the University.

“These very artistic sides of campus are all collabing and going to create this really cool place for art,” she said. “It’s just going to be a cool, safe place for the beginning of the school year to kind of establish that side of campus.”

The WAM’s temporary closure for building repairs over the summer will continue into the fall. Susannah Schouweiler, director of marketing and communications at WAM, said they’re hoping to know when the firm reopening date will be by the end of September.

Even with the building closed, there are still plenty of ways for students to engage with the museum this fall. “Just Yesterday,” WAM’s outdoor exhibit, will be on display along the exterior of the museum until Oct. 1. Students can also apply to be a WAM Collective Officer or a part of the Digital Content Team. Lastly, public art group tours are available by request with a few weeks notice.

For those who want to learn more about these opportunities, to celebrate art and music, or to ring in the school year with friends, WAM-O-RAMA is the place to be.

“The last year and a half has been really hard … so this is a real moment of celebration and solidarity. We get to come back and listen to live music together in front of this building that we’re all really proud to have on our campus,” Schouweiler said. “But more than that, it’s a moment to celebrate the possibilities for the coming academic year for creative collaboration, and for taking advantage of everything that being in person on campus offers.”

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