A multitude of campus performing arts groups brought their talents together to produce “Standing Room Only,” a variety show and charity event. For the third year in a row, University Hillel and Dance Marathon co-sponsored the event, which benefited the University’s C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital.
Event organizer and LSA senior Eric Bukstein said the event’s purpose was to raise money for a good cause and to combine the efforts of many campus groups. “A goal of ours is to bring other groups on campus together that wouldn’t normally be able to work together,” Bukstein said, referring to the diverse purposes of each participating group.
Chioma Nwachukwu, a member of the Dance Marathon planning team, stressed that the event was mainly about presenting different types of performing arts. “We’re trying to increase campus diversity through art,” Nwachukwu said. “We’re hoping that attendance will reach 300 people, and hoping that both students and faculty will attend.”
The local band Tally Hall kicked off the show with four original rock songs and a 1950s pop song. Other performers included the a cappella group Amazin’ Blue, singer and guitarist Hanna LoPatin, Impact Dance and the Bhangra Team. LoPatin said that her reasons for performing in the show were both charitable and personal. “I’m already dancing in Dance Marathon,” LoPatin said, “and this is a great opportunity for performing.”
Much of the ticket sales will be donated to the Child and Family Life program at Mott. Program Associate Karen Larson said she and her co-workers feel great gratitude to be included as donation recipients. “We think it is a privilege to be a part of Dance Marathon. I can’t begin to tell you how impressed I am with the central planning team. They are so committed to helping patients and their families,” Larson said.
“The Child and Family Life program helps reduce the stress of hospitalization,” Larson said. The money raised will go toward art, music and activity therapy programs.
Dance Marathon Executive Director and Business School senior Michael Mayer said last year’s event raised about $750, a total they hope to double this year. “We also fund school re-entry programs, which make transitions back to school easier for the child,” Mayer said. “We’re making therapies fun so (the kids) don’t even know they’re therapies.”
In addition to the performances, artwork and poetry by Mott patients were displayed outside the theater. University students also contributed artwork.