Bringing Art to Auraria

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Posted Thu, May 1, 2014

The CU Denver senior  leads a committee who showcases student art on Auraria Campus

Lizzy Hearne in the CU Denver Office of Student Life

Lizzy Hearne in the CU Denver Office of Student Life. [Photo Alex Ager]

DENVER – Lizzy Hearne ran around all day making sure everything was just so. She was leading the operations of LYNXAPALOOZA. A student-run music festival featuring critically acclaimed acts from Colorado and beyond on Sept. 14, 2013. It was the first music festival of its kind on the Auraria Campus. Hearne was in constant communication with the rest of her team through her walkie-talkie. In the midst of the chaos, the walkie-talkie stopped working. It happened in the middle of a set by the band Dr. Dog; Hearne’s favorite act of the day. The technical problems seemed like a blessing in disguise for her. “I can’t hear my walkie talkie right now. I don’t care. I’m just gonna dance to this song.”

Hearne is the chair of CU Denver Live!, the student-run committee that puts on music and art shows for students of the Auraria Campus.

She is majoring in Music Industry Studies at CU Denver. Her love of music developed on its own, more or less. “No one in my family is really musical,” she said.

Hearne’s music history stems back from her days living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been in choir since elementary school. She is in the Metro State choir program despite attending CU Denver. Hearne said, “It has just always been with me.”

The main focus at the moment for her is CU Denver Live!. After working for two years at the CU Denver Business school, Hearne wanted to pursue something involving her major. CU Denver Live! was what she was looking for.

The committee, formerly faculty-run, is now run by students. The student government decided that since the committee was funded by student costs, it should be run by students. Hearne had been involved with the committee for some time when that decision was made. She was asked to be chair and accepted. This is the first year of being exclusively student-run. “I think it has been really good so far,” Hearne said.

Before students took over the leadership of “CU Denver Live,” the committee largely helped fund students art projects. They still do that on a smaller-scale, but the new ambition of CU Denver Live! is bringing student-oriented entertainment to Auraria Campus.

Hearne describes her roles as making sure events go smoothly and marketing to students on the Auraria Campus. Reaching students on a commuter campus has been a particular challenge for Hearne and company. “I think that’s also a challenge of how we face that untraditional campus and make it better,” Hearne said.

Hearne is a senior in her final semester at CU Denver. She hopes to use her Music Industry Studies major in collaboration with her minor in Sustainability. The UCD Sustainability Minor is about learning to live harmoniously with the environment. She has looked in to the possibility of managing sustainable music festivals similar to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Hearne is both apprehensive and excited to move from academia into the workforce. Hearne said that it will be strange to not have the constant of school in her life. “I think I’m going to miss it,” Hearne said.

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