This semester’s extracurricular fair will boast several new booths from recently created arts-related organizations on campus.
At least six arts-related organizations have been established on campus over the past six months, ranging from small interest groups, such as a club consisting of Jane Austen fans, to larger clubs dedicated to entire art disciplines, such as a new film production club. Leaders of two recently established arts groups interviewed said they are looking to recruit new members as well as host new creative events, but mentioned they have faced a few challenges in their efforts to grow their club membership.
“The film community is growing here, with more students becoming involved as well as closeted film buffs who just appear out of the woodwork,” said Corthay Schock ’16, co-founder of Project Lens, a new film production organization established last spring. “We want everyone who is interested.”
According to its mission statement, Project Lens aims to “promote discourse among the Yale community about issues that are typically avoided” by producing short films. These issues may include Yale’s sexual climate, feminism and the under-appreciation of athletes, Schock said. She added that the group will include a variety of students in the film community, noting that both highly experienced film producers and students with no experience in film are welcome. Katrina Ungewitter ’16, another leader of Project Lens, said that interested students can list their intended area of expertise — such as acting, directing and software editing, among others —when joining the group and can sign up to participate in collaborative projects with each other through the group’s website.
Other new organizations are aiming to fill highly specific niches within the student body. Sara Deeter ’16, who recently co-founded the Undergraduate Jane Austen Society with Haining Wang ’16 , said she formed the club because while there are courses in the English department that focus on Jane Austen, there were no extracurricular options for students interested in exploring Austen’s work outside of the classroom.
Schock and Deeter said that they have experienced some challenges throughout their efforts to publicize and expand their groups. Ungewitter said that because Project Lens is a new organization, it has not yet made any productions or created its own website, which will make it difficult to give students a sense of the types of films the group plans to produce.
Deeter said she thinks that one of her group’s primary aims right now is to regularly come up with ideas for innovative events of a kind they have not hosted before — such as Jane Austen trivia competitions — which she noted can be difficult. Still, she added that she has already talked to a number of freshmen interested in joining the club.
There are currently 113 registered undergraduate arts-related organizations at Yale.