The Associate Students Commission on Culture, Arts, and Joy Justice is continuing its weekly “Sing a New Song” music series for Fall Quarter 2023. The event takes place on Fridays from 12-1 p.m. at Storke Lawn and features live performances from various local cultural and music groups.
This quarter, the Associated Students Commission on Culture, Arts, and Joy Justice (CCAJJ) has chosen to center the series around the theme — “Rise of the Indigenous ~ Stories, Songs and Prayers for the Healing of the Nations.” The theme highlights Indigenous groups from all over the world, giving them a platform to share their stories.
“The idea was to have each Friday featuring a specific community. And then they have this space to share whatever artistic expression, whether it’s a dance, whether it’s music, also to use that time to kind of spread awareness about the culture, as well as any issues that they would like to bring up,” “Sing a New Song” founder, seventh-year education doctorate student and CCAJJ co-chair Charlene Macharia said.
The series began in Winter Quarter 2022 as a way to connect students of different backgrounds and encourage people to embrace their unique identities.
“It’s about building bridges like sharing cultures and celebrating cultures. And also we offer a platform for coalition building for people from BIPOC identities,” Macharia said. “We’re able to come together, share our cultures and create a space for healing, create a space for that cross-cultural solidarity, and we also work towards equity and social justice.”
Fifth-year environmental studies major and CCAJJ publicity director Kimberly Castro said the various musical performances allow listeners to make cross-cultural connections between others and their own community.
“I very much believe in cautious vision and bringing people together through love and unity and cultural and artistic expression. Our campus climate isn’t as welcoming for queer or BIPOC Indigenous folks so, I think for us, simply providing the space for people to feel that they are seen is super powerful,” Castro said. “I don’t think there’s anyone that doesn’t like music, so I just hope that people feel inspired.”
Macharia echoed the same sentiment and said one of their main goals is to uplift student groups.
“Music brings joy, that brings healing so we feature different local bands and artists and also give space for students, like the talent within the UCSB student community,” Macharia said.
Macharia noted one of her favorite performances from the quarter was Sade Champagne — a musician and performer based in Oxnard.
“I really liked Sade Champagne’s performance as well because she was so dynamic, she even did a dance. But, also, she was also involving the crowd. She got us dancing on our feet. That was one of my most memorable ones,” Macharia said.
Alongside musical performances, CCAJJ provides art supplies as an opportunity for students to be creative whilst connecting with nature. Students are also encouraged to take to the stage and artistically express themselves, third-year economics and philosophy double major and CCAJJ vice chair Alicia Tsai said.
“If it was an open mic, it was just a really safe space for everybody. Like, just in between classes or something, to come and relax and eat and dance and meet people,” Tsai said.
The open setting of Storke Lawn allows students walking by to be drawn in by the music, thus increasing exposure to the event.
“There’s events happening on campus like in the [MultiCultural Center, and like in different places that if you don’t know about it, then you’re not going to know about it,” Macharia said. “We want to be out there where everyone can hear, everyone can see and have that chance to listen to these different voices, different artists. And, in that sense, exposing them to different cultures.”
A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the Oct. 26, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.