National Championships, All Americans, Regional Award Winners, The M-Club, Track and Field, Football and Basketball. These are often seen as the biggest draws for Mount Union students coming into their freshman year. But step slightly outside the spotlight of Division Three College Athletics and you’ll find a Mount Union that has thrived for years in the shadows. This Mount Union, one filled with rich history, storied culture, and boundless creativity, pokes its head out at RPB’s coffeehouse series, Mx. UMU, Raider Student Media meetings, Calliope publications and in the rather mysterious buildings on campus.
This is the Mount Union most people hardly encounter: The arts.
You see, while athletics at the University were at the forefront of the minds of the public, art of all kinds were able to foster and grow itself out of the harsh spotlight. What has emerged in the last decade of Mount Union was a burgeoning display of art in all forms, from visual art cultivated in the halls of Eels, or musical art flowing forth from the band room in Cope Music Hall and the robust and captivating performance art that calls Brush home, even in the convergence of these two mediums found in the award-winning (yes, that’s right, award-winning) Purple Raider Marching Band.
If you’re not convinced that art is thriving at Mount Union, maybe the continued accrual of awards by UMU’s Raider Student Media will change your mind. In the last 4 years, RSM gobbled up 5 awards for everything from radio broadcasting to film production. The most recent of the batch was a first-place finish for a student-produced digital short featured on the Studio M YouTube channel, home to tons of great student-created content.
Maybe a trip to the next RPB coffeehouse event will prove that art at Mount Union has been blooming into broad daylight in recent years. At any given coffeehouse event, you’ll find slam poets, comedians, and musicians. Maybe a list of talent that has been brought to campus for RPB events is what you’re looking for? Acts like Carl Wockner, Angie Keilhauer, Olivia Farabaugh, JD Eicher, Sawyer, and future acts such as Drakeford, Trent James, Jon Fischer, or Midwest Dueling Pianos to name a few.
Perhaps you’re more of a visual performance kind of person, in which case I highly recommend going to one of Mount Union’s student theatre productions. Like the Ten Minute Relationship plays, or Under Fire, Or Love Letters, or Anything Goes, or Prospero’s Magic Island, or All My Sons. Need I go on?
This is just a small list, a fractional segment, of the artistic opportunities that thrive on our campus. So, next time someone tells you that the only thing we at Mount Union have going for us is our storied football program, gently refer them to all the art Mount Union has to offer as well.