Project Linking the Arts unifies the UT arts community

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Photo Credit: Courtesy Kay Tsai-Weinberg

Nine different student organizations performed at the Hogg Memorial Auditorium on Saturday night, but they had one thing in common — a love for the arts.

The event, Project Linking the Arts, was hosted by the Steel Dance Company, a student dance group at UT. The purpose of the event was to unify the UT arts community and raise funds for Creative Action, an Austin nonprofit that focuses on promoting arts-based youth development.

“The arts are really important to all of us, and not everybody gets to have that growing up,” said Amy Weinberg, chemical engineering junior and dance performer for the company. “It’s a really good way to connect arts organizations to kids who can’t have them.”

Whitney Porter, Steel Dance Company’s artistic director, said the students involved in the project come from different majors, and so this gave them a chance to showcase their talent.

“Everybody just does it for the fun of it and because they love it,” advertising senior Porter said. “Nobody is (an art) major and forced to do it … They are so happy to be here and to do this today.”

Six student dance groups performed at the event, including cultural dance groups Texas Latin Dance and UT Zobha, a non-competitive dance team which incorporates Indian dances to their performance. One of the performances had dancers carry glowing lights which lit up the stage.

Sanjana Jhaveri, finance and advertising senior and member of UT Zobha, said she is glad to share Indian culture with the audience and see the diversity of the UT arts community.

“We’re very excited to open up our organization to new ideas and new influences because of this show,” Jhaveri said. “All of the dancers in Zobha want to learn and continue growing as dancers, not just Indian dance but in various performing arts styles.”

In addition to dances, the audience also enjoyed lively music performances by a brass band and a cappella groups Fuse and Texas Deep Treble.

Jordan Newman, president of Texas Deep Treble, said the group’s mission, which was created by Ricky Jacobson, mechanical engineering senior, is to make the audience forget about their problems for a moment.

“That’s really what we try to be as a group,” said Newman, electrical and computer engineering junior.  “We’re determined to entertain people and entertain ourselves along the way.”