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Arts & Culture

Five Can’t-Miss Features at NextNOW Fest 2019

Rock, Rap, Wrestling and Visual Poetry Among Highlights at Campus Arts Extravaganza

By Sarah Snyder

Students dancing at NextNOW Fest

Main photo by Stephanie S. Cordle; photos below courtesy of artists

The sixth NextNOW Fest will feature almost 50 free events, from music, dance and theater to comedy, art installations and food.

Towering balloon structures and three-sided pods plunging you into worlds of color and light. Professional wrestlers and actors battling it out in-ring. Thousands of people dancing, silently, as music pulses through their wireless headsets.

These are just some of the sights you’ll encounter at this year’s NextNOW Fest, held today and tomorrow at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

In its sixth year, NextNOW Fest celebrates the arts at Maryland. Featuring almost 50 free events, from music, dance and theater to comedy, art installations and food, the festival invites the campus and community to immerse themselves in the creativity of artists from the University of Maryland and around the country.

NextNOW Fest, presented and produced by The Clarice’s Artist Partner Programs, also showcases the talent of undergraduate students. The event is co-curated with students and departments around campus and is a Terps After Dark event.

Here are five highlights you won’t want to miss:

JPEGMAFIABright musical talent
Indie rock artist Snail Mail and rapper JPEGMAFIA are two Coachella alums selling out venues and impressing critics around the country. Other musical performers with Maryland and Washington, D.C., ties include April + VISTA, J Pope and the HearNow, and Black Folks Don't Swim?. Campus musical acts Skatestance, Crewneck Collection and bruce take nap from Terrapin Record Label will also take the stage. Check out the NextNOW Fest 2019 playlist.

Poetry sythesizer at NextNOW FestImmersive installations blending art and technology
D.C.’s popular art space ARTECHOUSE lets festivalgoers get absorbed in vibrant projections echoing the movement of their bodies in the “Lucid Dreaming” installation. Maxwell Neely-Cohen’s “Visual Poetry Synthesizer” is a sound-driven installation that translates spoken words to visualizations.

Asha Srinivasan headshotBrilliant and exploratory alumni artists
Through NextNOW Fest’s Alumni Commissioning Project, School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) alum Jason Schlafstein '08 brings his theater company’s wrestling piece “Flying V Fights: Pro-Wrestling - Don’t You Forget About Me” to the Kogod Theatre. (You can join the waitlist here.) School of Music alumna Asha Srinivasan D.M.A. '08 premieres her new work for flute, clarinet, violin and cello. TDPS dance alumna Candace Scarborough '12 debuts “once as well.”




Students performing at Maryland Night LiveLaugh-out-loud comedy
Maryland Night Live is a group of UMD students who write and perform a comedy show inspired by “Saturday Night Live.” “Off Book: The Improvised Musical” creates a hilarious, brand-new musical as the audience watches. Other comedy events include performances from student groups, Sketchup and Erasable Inc.

Food from SeoulSpiceDelicious food from SEOULSPICE
School of Music faculty member Eric Shin brings his vibrant Korean comfort food to the fest. You can enjoy a variety of rice bowls, using responsibly raised ingredients. 

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