By Mell Chhoy
Stanford students rarely have nothing to do on the weekends. You can stay home, or you can go out, but no matter what you have a plethora of options to choose from. Three times a quarter, you can choose to visit a certain dorm and enjoy the food, coffee, crafts and performances they have to offer: You can attend the Arts Jam.
To those who already know of the Arts Jam, they may remember it as hosted by Kimball Hall in Gerhard Casper Quad and therefore aptly named Kimball Arts Jam. However, starting this year, while still hosted in Kimball, Arts Jam is a coproduction between Kimball and the other dorms of Gerhard Casper Quad with support from Cardinal Nights.
Arts Jam features four attractions: performances by fellow students, a seasonal craft table, an abundance of snack foods and an on-site barista. It advertises itself as a fun and casual way to spend your Friday evening as well as an opportunity to showcase student talents in an intimate setting. It’s similar to open mic nights at your favorite local coffeehouse.
When you first arrive at Kimball, you have plenty of options to choose from. To your left you see the barista, to your right lies the table filled with food, and straight ahead is the lounge with the craft table and seats all facing forwards towards the stage. People mingle near the food and the craft tables, with a few sitting scattered in the audience.
On Friday, Nov. 10, I decided to take a break from my psets and readings to enjoy the food, meet some new people, witness some talent and get as caffeinated as possible before I crawled back to my room to work. It was worth it.
On this specific night of Arts Jam, there were performances by the a capella groups O-Tone and Harmonics, duets featuring guitars by some of the residents of Kimball, a contemporary dance piece and one student’s hip-hop remix tracks. The night also featured witty remarks by MC Vanessa Campos ‘19, a Kimball RA, and a craft table curated by staff of Castaño Hall for making fall-inspired mason jar candle holders.
When I arrived at Arts Jam, I decided I would have to try everything it had to offer. I decorated a mason jar candle holder with fabric autumn leaves and rustic twine, chatted with some of the other attendees, enjoyed the talents of my peers and gorged myself on cheese and fresh coffee. After a stressful Week 7, Arts Jam gave me the perfect opportunity to unwind.
As amazing as all that Arts Jam had to offer is, what really makes Arts Jam an amazing experience is the people. The RAs of Kimball who planned Arts Jam such as Campos, current and former Kimball residents such as Sidra Ijaz ‘19, Angelina Lo ‘18 and Sam Jacobo ‘18, along with friends of the performers can frequently be seen walking around and enjoying Arts Jam. These are the people who make Arts Jam amazing.
Arts Jam is a fantastic way to spend your Friday evening. It has a warm and cozy atmosphere, interesting people, a variety of amazing performances and a chance for you to sit and unwind. For those who would rather perform than watch, Arts Jam presents itself as a good opportunity to showcase your talents to friends or as a good trial run. Stanford a capella groups and dance groups can frequently be seen at Arts Jam, presenting their new routines and songs.
Arts Jam is usually held on the Fridays of Weeks 3, 6 and 9 of each quarter in Kimball’s lounge. I urge more people to come check it out. Although, I may be a bit biased because I did pre-assign to live in Kimball this year.
Contact Mell Chhoy at mchhoy ‘at’ stanford.edu.