Web-only: Keeping students on campus

Kate Bigam

Festival brings music, area businesses to Kent State

Local jazz band 1959 stole the show at yesterday’s Full Circle Festival, a traveling road show designed to introduce students to off-campus entertainment opportunities.

Dozens of students milled around Risman Plaza, enjoying free pizza and checking out booths from area businesses such as the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Great Lakes Theater Festival.

1959, winner of Kent State’s Battle of the Bands, provided live entertainment, playing a mix of original songs and covers throughout the entire two-and-a-half hour festival.

Junior communications major Ricardo Newell said he didn’t plan to attend the festival, but the band’s music drew him in.

“They definitely caught my attention coming around the circle,” Newell said.

Newell’s friend Aaron Wheeler, a junior justice studies major who helped set up for the event, said he enjoyed 1959’s performance, especially the Stevie Wonder covers.

Although Newell and Wheeler said they hadn’t stopped by any of the exhibitors’ booths, they were given gift bags by festival coordinators, who passed the bags out to dozens of passersby. Each bag contained coupons and brochures from sponsors, as well as a frisbee.

Dorothy Baxendale, who manned the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer

Foundation booth with her daughter Jenalee, a sophomore fashion merchandising major, said she enjoyed the festival atmosphere and the

live music.

“We’ve gotten a lot of students stopping by, looking interested,” Baxendale said. “The main thing is just getting the word out.” College 360, the organization that sponsored the festival, is devoted to keeping local college students in the Northeast Ohio area post-graduation.

Rachel Zinn, program sponsor for College 360, said she hopes students who attended the festival are inspired to search for off-campus entertainment in the greater Northeast Ohio area.

“There are also a lot of great things to do in the neighborhoods and in the community,” Zinn said.

“We wanted to have the festival in a central location, so students would be just passing by and want to stop.”

Contact administration reporter Kate Bigam at [email protected].