RIG Chooses Winners
Published: Friday, November 30, 2012
Updated: Friday, November 30, 2012 02:11
ReImagine Georgetown has selected its 2012 grant recipients from among 15 applications, awarding $3,000 to the Georgetown University Murals Initiative and $2,000 to Winter Hoyaland.
GUMI, which originally applied as Paint the Wall and changed its name upon winning the award, plans to install murals around campus. For its first project, GUMI will renovate the wall leading up to Yates Field House alongside MultiSport Facility.
Winter Hoyaland will provide Christmas-themed decorations in Healy Circle, including a Christmas tree to stand beside the John Carroll statue.
“This year’s applicant pool was really strong, and I’m really amazed at how many different and diverse ideas students can come up with,” said Meg Cheney (NHS ’13), RIG secretary and chair of the Service and Outreach Committee for Students for Georgetown, Inc. RIG’s funding and membership come from The Corp, Georgetown University Student and Alumni Credit Union and THE HOYA.
The selection committee decided to award only half of its $10,000 budget this year. Last year, RIG distributed the full budget, but this semester it was forced to close five accounts that had become inactive.
“In the past, I don’t think the full $10,000 has always been given out,” Cheney said. “We as a board had a discussion to decide if it’s necessary to give out all $10,000. Ultimately, we obviously want to make an impact, but we also wanted to make an impact that wasn’t extravagant.”
GUMI will combine the grant money with additional fundraising money to support the group. Sean Guilday (COL ’13), who proposed GUMI along with Martin Ahern (COL ’13) and Patrick Ingelmo (MSB ’13), said that the initiative will harness the talents of a wide segment of the campus community.
“We want to encourage a variety of student groups … to participate, in addition to, of course, student artists and artist groups,” Guilday said. “Of course, the ideas for the murals will come from the artists, but the actual production of a mural is translating squares from paper onto the actual wall. And students can really get involved in that process.”
The group also discussed starting a mural-painting course with John Morrell, chair of the department of art and art history.
“In the class, the murals would be a student project and they would put the mural up as part of the class,” Ingelmo said. “But even without the class, we would reach out to student artists for mural ideas.”
Christopher Yedibalian (COL ’13), who found out he received the grant for Winter Hoyaland last week, has reached out to students through email and Facebook to decorate Healy Circle this Sunday from noon until 6 p.m.
“I thought it would be cool to get all the students to decorate the campus and see it during finals but also have neighbors come by, see the campus, bring their kids and decorate the tree,” Yedibalian said.
“[The holidays] are overshadowed by finals,” Yedibalian said. “Everyone is in a terrible mood because they’re doing work until 3 a.m. If there’s anything we could do to brighten their spirits and remind them that there’s another meaning to December, we want to [do] that.”
Ahern, Guilday and Ingelmo said that their proposal was inspired by what they perceive as a need to better showcase Georgetown’s artistic community.
“Our initial idea came from the fact that we all feel that the arts community at Georgetown is often neglected,” Ingelmo said. “Although everyone always says that Georgetown has many talented students, it’s a pretty general sentiment that the arts community isn’t as well-represented around campus. We wanted to help students express themselves artistically.”
“We really just want to let the personality of Georgetown shine through,” Ahern said. “We want to add a pop of color to campus.”
Ahern expressed hope that as the initiative grows, it will reach out to the larger D.C. community through existing campus groups such as D.C. Reads.
Cheney shared this optimism for the initiative’s potential.
“I really hope to see GUMI get off the ground and have a strong start next spring because the winners are seniors, and I’d love to see them get a little taste of what their project is capable of,” Cheney said. “I’m really excited that we will be working really closely with the art department on that project, and I hope to see it institutionalized.”
Winter Hoyaland’s decorations will supplement the tree that the university puts outside of Dahlgren Chapel every year.
“I requested money and put forth a sustainable proposal, so the plan is to continue on with this,” Yedibalian said. “I have talked to underclassmen, and once we buy the decorations, they should last for a number of years. The contacts are there, and assuming all goes well this year, I’m hoping next year they will be able to continue Winter Hoyaland and improve it.”
He added that university assistance would ensure the project’s sustainability.
“In the future, [University Facilities] would buy the tree for us,” he said. “And in the far future, facilities and the [Office of the President] could chip in to help us. I can also save them money on what they’re buying in Dahlgren if we can partner on our efforts buying trees.”
Cheney added that she hopes Yedibalian’s initiative will be complemented by strong student interest.
“I hope to see students really enjoy it and kind of respond to us making this effort. I hope it brings holiday spirit back to campus,” she said.
According to Cheney, the two proposals were chosen because of their potential to impact the undergraduate experience at Georgetown in the long term.
“I think that in choosing a winner, RIG itself has to be very true to its meaning and its purpose,” she said. “We wanted to focus on projects that were going to be institutionalized, be able to carry on into the future and become a new tradition at Georgetown.”