SCRAM promotes student engagement with Rose

Group aims to create opportunities to interact, communicate with museum

Photo/Se Jun Lee

Hip-hop DJ MORRI$ at recent SCRAM-sponsored concert at the Rose.

One early spring weekend recently, Lenny Schnier ’13, chair of the Student Committee for the Rose Art Museum (SCRAM), was pacing back and forth between the museum’s entrance and its front lawn, where a concert was in progress.

One the one hand, he was enjoying the opener, MORRI$, a hip-hop DJ from Kansas. On the other, he was worrying about – and trying to determine – the whereabouts of Mykki Blanco, the scheduled headliner.

Blanco didn’t show until the concert was over, and wound up performing that night at Chum’s, but in any case SCRAM’s purpose in staging the event – strengthening ties between the museum and the student body – was served, as a sizable crowd turned out.

SCRAM, which currently has 28 members, aims to expose students to the Rose, to provide students with opportunities for in-depth interaction with the collection and to communicate student interests and opinions about the museum. 

“I’ve seen a great number of students who would not normally come to the museum attend our events,” said Schnier. “At SCRAM Jam [a dance party held in the museum] this past semester, I watched as students who had never been to the museum before interacted with the artwork, having conversations about evocative pieces of work.”

The nature of SCRAM’s involvement with the Rose has changed radically over the years since SCRAM members and other students participated in sit-ins and demonstrations against a proposal to close the museum and sell the art. 

Eventually, the Rose closed only for renovations, reopening in style in 2011 to celebrate its 50th anniversary with new exhibitions and $1.7 million in physical improvements. 

The Rose has become an increasingly popular venue for students and the public. SCRAM’s publicity chair, Haley Coopersmith ’15, and secretary, Alexandra Hall ’16, embody that growing student appreciation for the museum. 

“The Rose is significant because it is a resource of learning on campus,” said Schnier. “All students can learn something from the art that the museum has to offer. I hope to see the museum become an ever-more accessible place for students, faculty and staff to appreciate and experience modern and contemporary art within a university setting.”  

The Student Committee for the Rose Art Museum is funded through the contributions of the late Alex Barkas ’68 and his wife, Lynda Wijcik.

Categories: Arts, Student Life

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