Jin Lee / The Dartmouth Staff
Finkelstein was able to arrange and conduct the concert with funding from the Year of the Arts Steering Committee and the Dartmouth Centers Forum. In honor of the College's arts celebration, the two organizations have so far funded eight student arts performances. Students can apply for up to $4,000 to fund an exhibition of their choosing.
Projects have ranged from a student art exhibit to dance and singing workshops. Any student with a project proposal that facilitates student and community engagement in the arts can apply.
Finkelstein had planned his concert for over a year, and realized in the fall that he needed more money to cover the costs of hiring musicians as well as renting chairs and music stands. He applied for $400 from the College.
"I knew early on conducting is what I wanted to do," Finkelstein said. "It's the amalgamation of performance while also having to be a smart music historian and good group organizer."
Finkelstein will use video from the performance to apply to graduate school.
The next scheduled performance funded through the arts initiative is an April concert featuring transgender rap artist Mykki Blanco and openly gay rapper Cakes da Killa.
The concert will be a collaboration between Friday Night Rock and OUTreach, an LGBT mentor program. Blanco will also sit down with students for a lunch discussion the following day.
"Rap is a very gendered genre," said Gabriel Rosenstein '13, who runs Friday Night Rock and proposed the concert."The standards are very heteronormative we want her to come do a performance and come talk about how she's challenging the standards."
The application process was fairly easy and straightforward, Rosenstein said. Without the $2500 grant, Friday Night Rock could not have paid for both the concert and the lunch discussion.
With a $1,000 grant, Phill Hermans GR'13 invited the experimental music ensemble Dream Team to play music composed by Dartmouth graduate students and hold a workshop. The ensemble also gave pop-up performances at One Wheelock, the 1902 Room, Novack Cafe and Collis Common Ground.
These events led up to the ensemble's main concert, an intimate performance in Rollins Chapel on Feb. 15. Turnout for the event was better than expected, Hermans said.
"There is not a huge audience for avant-garde experimental music in the Upper Valley," Hermans said. "I always think it is a success when there are more audience members than band members."
Hermans originally applied for $3,500 in funding, but received less than half that amount.
To cut costs, the musicians stayed at his home rather than in a hotel.
Rosenstein said he hopes that the College continues to support arts initiatives even after the Year of the Arts is over.
"The arts is something that is always secondary to other things that are going on, not just at Dartmouth," Rosenstein said. "This year it has gotten a nice big boost. It adds a lot to student life and the experience here."
Finkelstein said the initiative has been underutilized by many students, likely because of the amount of time it takes to create and plan for an elaborate performance. He he hopes the College continues the program in the future.
"We have a ton of creative students who can come up with really cool stuff to do," Finkelstein said. "Projects can only get bigger and more and more creative from now on."