This interview is part of a series of articles to present the work of the campus bureaux.
By Anique Baillon
The Bureau des Arts (BDA) is one of the four permanent bureaus on campus, and it addresses all things art related with the students of Sciences Po. Second year students may already know what it is and who its members are, but first years may need some clarification as to who they are and what they do. The Sundial Press interviewed Aurora HawcroftPresident of the BDA, and Sofia Ruis de Arcuate, Head of Communications, both Euram 2A, to understand the role this student organization plays on campus.
In Aurora’s words, “It isn’t just us doing art. We are organizing all of the other smaller, artistic associations, for example, Chill Beans, the Vibes, Drama Thalia.”
This group of 14 students, and soon their first year and exchange student assistants, will act as the central body for artistic endeavours on campus. While they are all artists in their own right, they are also an organizational hub for the campus. Their passion for sharing art has also led them to promote off-campus events in Reims and form ties with the artistic organizations within the city.
Open Mic Night at the Excalibur bar on a recent Thursday is an example of the type of event that the BDA organizes throughout the year. It also exemplifies the way in which they bring art to the forefront of campus life. In fact, Sofia considers Open Mic Nights to be her favourite BDA events.
While these events are very important to the BDA, the major yearly event is the Festival des Arts, a week-long celebration of various types of art on campus. Occurring in the second semester, this week features different events every night, as well as workshops during the day.
Aurora assured the Sundial Press that “before, [these events] didn’t necessarily appeal to everyone. But now this year what we really want to do is to open it up more to everyone”.
First year students might remember that the BDA were important players in the integration week, where they organized the Reims City Quest Scavenger Hunt and the DJ night at the Guingette, both of which were well received by students. They also organized a visit to the light show at the Cathedral of Reims, as an early introduction to the artistic elements of Reims.
While they are pleased with the success of these events, they are always looking for innovative or original ideas for artistic events for the campus. This is where the first year and exchange student members play an important role, bringing new ideas, experiences, and talents to the table. Interviews are currently taking place to determine who the new members of the BDA will be, but they are looking for multi-talented and organized students with a passion for art. Evidently, these students will need some coaching to fill their positions, however, the BDA is taking a more egalitarian approach to this learning curve, or as Sofia calls it, this “creative process” of becoming an assistant within the bureau. Exchange Student involvement is, in Sofia’s words “a really big part of the mission this year,” and to do this they have created a pole specifically to accommodate exchange students.
The BDA plays an integral role in the artistic life, and even the student life, of this campus. Their time and hard work is much appreciated by their fellow second years and hopefully, this explanation will show the 1As and Exchange Students how much the BDA has to offer.