Follow the Steps of FAA 110 onto the Tour of Arts

Written by Nicole Miao

FAA 110 is a course about exploring arts and creativity. When I enrolled in this course at first, I was just trying to learn something new about arts and humanities. What I didn’t expect was that FAA 110 far exceeded my expectations. It gave me not only lots of opportunities to enjoy the show for free, but also like-minded friends and a direct channel to art.

I still remember the Opening Night Party, which was my second time to KCPA after the Lift Off of College of LAS. That night I enjoyed delicious food and live band performance and was deeply attracted by the superb skills of different singers.

Toko Telo performing outside KCPA
Waiting for the performance to begin

I was originally glum for some annoying matters on the night of Sasha Velour’s performance. While this show saved me—not only wiped my bad mood out but also opened the door to a new world for me. I was confused at the beginning of the performance, gradually became excited, and finally moved. Sasha Velour showed me the loveliest look of a drag queen on stage—at least it was her most beautiful moment in my mind—living a unique freedom, living a true self, without worrying about the gossip of others. This was undoubtly my favorite performance throughout the whole semester. Sasha Velour has moved me so deeply that it was hard to imagine another performance surpassing its place in my mind. After the performance, I kept telling myself to be brave and free.

The actors celebrated the graduation of “students”

Next, I watched Home by Geoff Sobelle and went to Krannert Art Museum to participate in a workshop called Dance. Both events interpreted their themes in unique ways. Geoff Sobelle illustrated a warm story of a family in mime, and let all actors and the audience actively interact; Dance offered me a chance to calm down and experience nature, forgetting troubles temporarily. I also visited the Spurlock Museum and browsed a great amount of artworks, selecting a tobacco pot that I was interested in for more detailed observation.

People gathered outside the KAM
Viewed the tobacco pot from the front

My participation in the performance of the Four Italian Tenors a complete accident. At that time, my friend and I were browsing the webpage together, while she happened to see the front page of KCPA which was showing the performance information of the Four Italian Tenors. She screamed with excitement and asked me if I wanted to go with her. Obviously I agreed—it was an extremely correct decision. No matter how many live songs I’ve heard on TV or on my phone, they could not be more shocking than a live tenor concert. I was familiar with most of the classic Italian songs they sang, and also sang “Volare” with other audiences under the guidance of the Four Italian Tenors. The performance ended in the drinking song and it was really like a grand banquet.

The Four Italian Tenors’ Curtain call

It was also memorable that I went to KCPA as an usher for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert. It was wonderful not only due to the performance itself, but also because it was my first time volunteering at a performance. At first I encountered some difficulties because I was not familiar with the process, but fortunately Mrs. Diana, a community volunteer, gave me a lot of guidance. I was grateful for her patient help and that was a great memory for me.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Curtain Call
The Curtain Call

FAA 110 encouraged so many first attempts. I had never seen a jazz performance before, but because of this course, I attended one and learned more about the unique rhythm and singing style of jazz. I used to think that jazz was too enthusiastic, but this time I also realized its soft and subtle part. More importantly, jazz emphasized the significance of the spirit of cooperation. The last time I went to KCPA was to watch the concert of St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. It was an excellent performance, and the narrative melody of each piece left me infinite inspiration and touch.

Before the Performance

Thanks to FAA 110 for giving me a unique and artistic dialogue experience. So, here is the art journey of this course, and this final blog is to draw the curtain on my journey of the semester.

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