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From cooking to filmmaking, students created and explored different types of art as part of the 2006 Winter Arts Festival on campus this weekend.

The festival, which ran from Friday to Sunday, featured an array of activities focused on the arts at Yale, including workshops on sushi making, screenings of student films, concerts, a student fashion show and a workshop on careers in the arts. The two-year-old festival, coordinated by the Yale Student Activities Committee, attracted a greater number of participants than last year’s event, YSAC representatives said.

Orly Friedman ’07, the chair of the festival, said the activities were designed to attract students who might not normally spend time engaging in the arts.

“There are always so many arts events at Yale,” Friedman said. “You’re always saying, ‘Oh, I’ll go see a play eventually,’ but this weekend is to bring it all together.”

The festival was similar to last year’s, YSAC representatives said, but this year’s agenda included a more diverse selection of events and the committee eliminated some of the events that had received less successful showings the previous year. New events included a “kick-off show” — with performances by a capella, dance and music groups — and an open-mic show, during which student musicians’ live performances were recorded and compiled into an album that YSAC is now selling for $1.

“[The CD] is really exciting,” YSAC Chair Jackie Carter ’07 said. “I think it’s Yale’s first hodge-podge compilation CD.”

Events on Friday included a Silliman College Master’s Tea with fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and an informal gathering at the Yale University Art Gallery that offered students a chance to chat with alumni working in the arts.

Friedman and Carter both said the “Careers in the Arts” event at the gallery was part of a YSAC initiative to add more alumni to the festival in hopes of turning the event into an annual tradition.

“I really wanted to get more alumni in to do master classes and master’s teas,” Carter said. “We didn’t get a great response from alumni yet. It’s still a young event.”

Nicholas Collura ’07, the special events coordinator of Bulldog Productions, said BP and Yale TV organized a student film screening and screenplay reading this weekend in an effort to expose a wider range of students to films made by their peers.

“The films were selected for their ingenuity, for the way they show us things most college films don’t show us,” Collura said. “We got people to realize that films by students can be about more than just students.”

Collura said the screening was attended by approximately 50 students. Though YSAC representatives said they did a better job of publicizing the festival this year compared to last year, some students said they were not made aware of the events this weekend.

Annie Heller ’08 said although she attended the YCouture fashion show, she had not realized it was part of a larger festival.

“I didn’t even know it was happening,” she said.

Though turnout to the festival was low relative to the size of the overall student body, a number of students who participated said they found the activities to be fun and educational.

“The chef was talking about the art of sushi-making,” Yayone Rivaud ’09 said of the hands-on sushi-making workshop. “It’s all about presentation.”

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