Event provides artistic platform

Students share their artistic abilities on Open Airwaves stage


A student performs in Commons Living Room during the biannual Open Airwaves event March 10.

Clare Wilkinson

Sometimes it can be hard to find a creative outlet in Lexington but WLUR’s biannual Open Airwaves event, held March 10, encourages all members of the Rockbridge area to share their talents with the community.

Open Airwaves is held in an effort to give people from all walks of the community – Washington and Lee students, local high school students, and other area residents – the opportunity to communicate their feelings through creative and artistic expression.

Alex Minor ‘15 co-hosted Open Airwaves for the last two years and has helped organize the event since her freshman year. Minor said she enjoys the event because it’s a really relaxed environment where anyone can perform anything they’d like to.

“The event is less curated than other musical performances are,” she said. “It gives people who play the guitar in their room or sing in the shower a chance to share their talents with the school.”

Minor said Tuesday’s event showcased the widest range of performances she’s seen in the last few years. Tuesday’s event was the first time someone came up to the microphone to perform a piece of stand-up prose and the first time that the top prize was awarded to a spoken word piece, performed by Amira Hegazy ‘15.

“I was shocked to win on Tuesday [as] I have never seen a spoken word act win Open Airwaves,” Hegazy said. “And there were a lot of other really talented performers there as well.”

One of the poems Hegazy read was about being a hate-crime victim.

“I was a little hesitant to share it on such a public platform but I’m really glad I did,” she said.

The event has been held in the Elrod Commons living room for quite some time now and the performing space is well-received by all involved.

“We’ve tried different locations, but the commons lounge is best because of the open atmosphere,” Minor said. “It has more of a coffee-shop feel.”

Some students said they enjoy Open Airwaves because they get to watch student performers whose talents are otherwise unknown.

“There are so many students on campus who I didn’t realize were musically talented in addition to everything else they’re involved in,” Eleni Timas ‘17 said. “It’s nice to see them sharing something they’re passionate about.”

Minor said the event was also a great opportunity for other artistic organizations on campus to advertise and support each other. Chase Flint, ‘15, talked about Muse for a few minutes, W&L’s literary arts magazine.

“It’s nice to see everyone come together instead of all doing their individual thing,” Minor said. “They work really nicely together.”