The Grace Museum started a new program, College Night, Thursday night, complete with live music, local coffee and food trucks.
In a season of change, the Grace has actively been setting up programs and events to reach out to the students of Abilene as a whole. Rebecca Bridges, the museum’s programming and interpretation director, said she “wanted to have things for students to do throughout the semester that didn’t cost them a lot of money and showed off what [the Grace] has to offer.”
Bridges wants the Grace to be a place students, especially those not familiar with the area, can come and have fun off campus, discovering Abilene and what it has to offer. Allison Carroll, owner of Monks Coffee, said she believes College Night is a great way to be involved with the community.
The Grace hosted study breaks and hang outs in past semesters. After seeing the popularity of this event in the past, the museum directors decided to come up with a monthly event free for students.
In order to do this, the Grace set up a committee with representatives from each of the six schools in Abilene. Arlene Kasselman, administrative coordinator for the Department of Art and Design, and Caddie Coupe, director of student and parent activities, are the ACU representatives.
Each school’s representatives will assist in hosting on an assigned month, creating fun activities like open mic and karaoke nights, said Bridges. These evenings, weather permitting, will have live music and coffee on the rooftop and activities in the courtyard. Even though one campus will host at a time, all campuses are invited every month.
Bridges said she also hopes activities in the Grace will pull more students towards the galleries, which they are currently turning over. Upcoming events include the opening reception of the new exhibit, entitled Spanish Texas, on Sept. 24. They will be open for five and a half months, with events like Spanish short films at the Paramount Theatre on Oct. 13. ACU’s Department of Language and Literature will host a Spanish Lanugage poetry night before the films.
Bridges said she isn’t worried about having target attendance and wants to be welcoming to students and make downtown welcoming.
“Students lives can be better if they experience more life and don’t get bogged down,” Bridges said.