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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

New Theatre arts club fosters unity among expanding creative horizons

Izzie Hamm
The City College’s new club, the Theatre Arts Community, lounges with fellow board members on April 8 at the Jurkowitz Theatre in Santa Barbara, Calif. In the hopes of growing their community they discuss new events and their designs for upcoming T-shirts.

A brand new campus club at City College has accumulated nearly ninety members since the beginning of the spring semester. Intriguing students from the film, theater, and music departments, The Theatre Arts Community at SBCC Club has expansive goals for their future. 

President Grace Wilson spearheaded the club and based its origin on building a tighter community around theater arts. 

“Last semester, I realized that all the theater arts majors didn’t do things together outside of class,” Wilson said. “So the whole inspiration was to bring people closer and create a space where all artists can come together.” 

Wilson eventually brought her inspiration to life after consulting with faculty and friends about the reality of creating a club.

“The most important thing was to find an advisor, figure out if this had existed before, and then find out who’s interested,” Wilson said. “I asked Matt Talbott to be our advisor, who said yes, and then we immediately started working.” 

The Theatre Arts Community, City College’s new club, hosts a board meeting on April 8 at the Jurkowitz Theatre in Santa Barbara, Calif. Reflecting on their latest improv night, they recall highlights from the event and discuss their plans for future events. (Izzie Hamm)

Many of Wilson’s friends were immediately involved and now serve as the eleven board members. Their efforts to create a welcoming environment in the theater arts community have spread to multiple departments, showcasing their desire for inclusivity. Alina Reitz, the musical theater representative within the club, hopes to bridge the gap between the music and theater departments. 

“I’m the only music major on the board and one of the few in the club,” Reitz said. “Merging the departments is something I want to make happen because we definitely don’t have enough collaboration.” 

Originally, their weekly meetups consisted of music, games, snacks, and a couple of hours to get to know each other better. However, considering their quick growth, the club has had the opportunity to expand into theatrical events. Their first improv night was held on April 4 in the Drama Building. 

“It was so awesome, and there were so many people,” Wilson said. “It went so well that we’re gonna start doing it every week.” 

But this is just one of the many goals they have for the future. Talk of cabaret-style events, acting monologues, karaoke, varying workshops, open mic night, and a possible end-of-the-year showcase was shared, according to Reitz. 

“I had always hoped something like this would exist, and now it does,” Event Coordinator JT Kelleher said. “This is truly like an indulgence for everyone. We do acting-related things, but it’s not a chore…. everyone should expect to be welcomed and really just have fun with it.” 

City College’s new club, the Theatre Arts Community, hosts their weekly board meeting on April 8 at the Jurkowitz Theatre in Santa Barbara, Calif. The tight-knit members share their ideas on expanding their group and connecting with the Film and Music departments. (Izzie Hamm)

Regardless of your major or current passion, the club welcomes everyone hoping to learn or improve in the theatrical and music departments, even if it means just attending an event for the experience. 

“Theatre has always been that thing that cheers me up,” Club Vice President Lexie Brent said. “And I know it’s that for a lot of people. It’s a place where you feel you can be yourself, and it’s such a friendly, supportive environment.” 

Funded by a $600 grant from the Associated Student Government (ASG), the club is in the process of creating T-shirts for all ninety-plus members. Kelleher humorously mentioned how the only real conflicts among the board members so far have been their merchandise’s color and design choice. 

And while Brent plays devil’s advocate, aiding the logistical side of operations and spending management, she disclosed how the solace found in theater outweighs any perspective differences they’ve encountered so far. 

“It’s a community built on intention,” Wilson said. “Creating art, uplifting each other, building relationships, and promoting self-expression is the goal.” Looking into the future, Wilson hopes to eventually return to City College and see the club thriving. 

Their next improv night will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on April 9 in the Garvin Theatre Building Room DM-155, open to anyone hoping to join or witness the club in action.

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