What started out as a regular thing on Thursday nights at Busters in Kenai has been reincarnated as a regular thing at Kenai Peninsula College. The KPC Student Union has worked hard to put together a production that brings musicians and writers from around the peninsula together in a forum where creative juices can flow. The open mic night was launched in late October, with more than 40 people in attendance. From the beginning, it was apparent that open mic was a hit and should continue on a long-term basis.
Open mic night is a place where people can share their writing, music or art with others. The goal is to bring local talent out of the woodwork for everyone to enjoy. So far, music has ranged from acoustic to heavy metal, with the mix helping to broaden each individual's experience.
The next open mic night will happen in the KPC commons from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday. The schedule of performers is expected to include a rap act, as well as selections by everyone's favorite troubadour, Mike Morgan. Attendees are reminded that mature subject matter may be presented and that persons under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
Brett Encelewski, Student Union productions officer and coordinator of open mic night, said the activity has gotten the college more involved in the community through the admission charge: two cans of food or boxed goods, which are then donated to the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank.
The goal of open mic night organizers is to expand the activity to a weekly event that would run from 7 to 11 p.m., making it the place to be Thursday evenings.
For the open mic nights to continue to be successful, new acts are needed. The KPC Student Union invites anyone who would like to showcase their talents to contact Brett at 262-0339 for a booking date.
Open house planned
When the hustle and bustle of the holidays has past, KPC will kick off the new spring semester with the annual open house celebration from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 8.
2004 is special because KPC will have its 40th birthday, and the open house will be the first opportunity to celebrate the milestone.
The open house is held in conjunction with the first day of general walk-in registration. There will be several displays, including a history board that will depict the genesis of KPC.
Demonstrations include Japanese cooking, furniture making, hand-built ceramics, watercolor painting, wildlife painting, fly-tying, tai chi and digital photography. The KPC faculty will be available to answer questions students may have about their degree programs. Tours of the campus also will be available.
Visitors and students are encouraged to find drop-off locations throughout the facility for entry to win one of two valuable door prizes: gift certificates for three-credit classes at KPC.
There will be free food and ongoing entertainment throughout the day. The entertainment will continue into the evening with open mic night in the commons until 10 p.m.
In addition to all the activities planned for the open house, KPC will dedicate the new 3-D art studio as the Anna Leah Fosset-Goodrich Studio.
The new studio was made possible by a generous grant from the foundation formed in honor of Fosset-Goodrich. There will a dedication ceremony at 6 p.m. when a plaque will be unveiled.
Mark your calendars for Jan. 8 and don't miss this opportunity to see what's up at the local connection to the University of Alaska Anchorage.
Information systems update
KPC's room 108 Computer Lab is scheduled to receive a major upgrade over the upcoming semester break. Twenty new Dell Optiplex 2.4 GHz systems will replace all of the workstations in KPC's most heavily used teaching lab. This lab currently is equipped with computers that have been in service since 1997.
The new Dell systems will provide a 10-fold performance increase over the existing hardware and offer many essential new features to support KPC courses and programs such as digital arts, computer assisted drafting and Web design.
KPC prides itself on using the most current hardware and software in the teaching environment so that students are learning what the "real" world uses. Sign-up for a KPC computer class and use these shiny, new machines during the spring semester.
This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College.
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