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Cliff Notes May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2
   

Loft(y) Goals

   
     

As you approach The Loft, a neon green light tickles your curiosity. You peek in to see scientists, artists, political analysts and sorority sisters intimately sipping wine—somehow without pretension—while tonight’s indie rockers tune their cellos and tighten their cymbals. Already, there is a sense that you belong here, despite your jeans and open-toed shoes. And the best part of all: You haven’t even left campus.

For UCSD students, Price Center’s new culture and arts lounge seems almost too good to be true. In its opening months, The Loft has hosted events ranging from wine- and food-tasting activities to film screenings to a musical lineup that included folk, funk, tango and trip-hop.

“I’ve always felt uncomfortable with these labels that get placed on artists,” says Martin Wollesen, artistic director of ArtPower! and a visionary of The Loft. “I wanted to create a space that defied labels.”By providing one of the few all-ages performance spaces in San Diego, Loft curator Elizabeth Bradshaw says she is developing programming that bridges generational gaps and inspires creative interaction.

“It really allows for current students, alumni, faculty and staff to all commingle together at the same events,” she says, adding that distinctions between “high art” and “low art” are far outdated. “You don’t have to get suited and booted to go to a wine-tasting evening. You can come in jeans and a T-shirt.”

UCSD alumni turned out at The Loft in especially high numbers in October for multicultural jazz combo Rupa and the April Fishes, led by Rupa Marya, Revelle ’97. Bradshaw says the refrain of the evening was, “Gosh, I wish we had a place like this when I was a student.”

Wollesen says that as long as members of the UCSD community are willing to abandon the “myth-making” that has historically perpetuated the campus’ dull-­student-life reputation and treat The Loft as a community space, Triton nights will only get longer.

“We can choose to say that there’s nothing happening on this campus, or we can choose to say we’re going to make something happen on this campus,” he says. “Let’s try to make it happen, let’s take a risk, let’s move forward and let’s figure out what’s possible.”

To view event listings or book a gig, visit: theloft.ucsd.edu

— Jesse Alm, Sixth ’11

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