Welcome (back) To Oberlin Arts + Culture


Psst! Listen up. Look over here! Keep your voice down. Seriously! ...I’m about to leak some fundamental truths about this section that our editors-in-chief Sophie and Ian don’t want you to know!


What I’m offering aren’t exactly vault-protected secrets, but their explicit publication — especially in The Grape itself — is unprecedented. Since 1999, everyone from The Grape’s editors-in-chief down to the copy editors have fought to keep this info from inking the pages of this periodical. Accordingly, to my colleagues, my decision to print them here may be shocking, maybe even unforgivable.


But there’s a new Sheriff in town, and his name is Sheriff PJ, and his jurisdiction extends from the first page of the Arts + Culture section to the very last. My commitment is to the reader, and as a result, I feel compelled to share this with you all.


My tenure (one week) as the Arts + Culture editor of The Grape has only confirmed and redoubled my long-held beliefs about the section’s place in the institution of this paper. That is — with the exception of Features, which eloquently keeps students and faculty alike apprised of the most pressing events and policy changes on campus, and Bad Habits, which sharpens our student body’s already razor-edged satiric impulses, and finally, Opinions, which holds a megaphone up to Oberlin students’ well-rounded musings, often offering an opportunity to speak truth to power — Arts + Culture is THE MOST important section of the paper. By a mile.


What is it that makes The Grape’s Arts + Culture section so important, you may ask? I’d argue that you know the answer already, implicitly. Because you picked Oberlin, a school teeming with art, firing on all cylinders in every medium at all times.


Here, in the cornfields of Northeastern Ohio, it’s largely up to the student body to create, cultivate, curate, sponsor, and maintain campus-wide culture. Whether you’re a HIV Peer Tester, Lacrosse Player, ‘Sco Booker, or Burnout Partygoer, you’re furthering the culture, all while relying on rhythms and institutions handed down to you by students and faculty that came before. In many cases, you’re working on building or streamlining innovative or improved spaces for new students to flourish in later.


Every Oberlin student, whether driven towards it or seemingly oblivious to it, interacts in some way every day with some facet of art or culture at Oberlin, which means that every student (Grape-reader or not) is more than qualified to write for this section.


So, with that, welcome to the new Arts + Culture section — and remember, you can’t spell Arts + Culture without true. Plus, you even get leftover letters that you can spell any variety of words with. Like rascal, scald, or tan.


Is there a concert you’d like to cover on campus? A band to interview? A lecture to attend? A student production in Wilder next Friday that you think breathes new life into the Oberlin theater scene?


Or a dance showcase in Warner that you think vibrates with potential? An art installation? A student film? A Hollywood film you think deserves our attention? Or our ire?


How about a pioneering literary magazine? An interesting new org? An older student organization making surprising leaps and bounds? Remember, too, that it doesn’t have to be someone else’s art. Do you have an exciting new piece just waiting to be featured? Or an upcoming recital?


If you answered yes to any of these questions— or think I’m being myopic, failing to mention, or ignorant to, the true apex of the arts at Oberlin — write The Grape or me at pmccormi@oberlin.edu, and pitch an idea!


I couldn’t be more excited to welcome your submissions this year, and to help edit, publish, and elevate clever criticism, features, and reviews. Here’s to another year of Arts + Culture at Oberlin, and finding our place in it all.

Contact content editor PJ McCormick at pmccormi@oberlin.edu.

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