A night of Nueva art and performances

Jun 6, 2019 | Culture, Music, News, On Campus

The coffeehouse started with upbeat jazz and string lights, just like the first. The school’s characteristic couches, scattered around the WRC, housed a few dozen students; others sat on the floor or stood in the back as the acts continued. This was the second coffeehouse of the year—and the second Nueva coffeehouse ever.

With a goal of one coffeehouse per semester, organizers Jordan Mak (10) and Willow Taylor Chiang Yang (10) started the tradition to “create a relaxing event toward the end of each semester for students to chill out and take a break from schoolwork.”

This time, though, the coffeehouse had been refined. “I think one of the biggest changes we made this time was including an open mic session at the end,” Mak, Design Editor of The Current, said. “We tried it subtly last time, and it worked great for the people who stayed for it, but we wanted more people to participate so we made sure that people knew about it this time.”

Yang, The Nueva Current’s Editor-in-Chief, added that her favorite part of the coffeehouse was “definitely the action—it’s really fun, and also evokes a feeling of pride and completion.”

We had a lot of serious performances, but at the same time had some that were on the humorous side, and I think everyone did a really good job of going with the flow.

This coffeehouse was not without its challenges, though.

“The most challenging part of planning the coffeehouse was probably getting people to come,” Mak said. “I worked really hard to market the event, and I even invited the Class of 2023—the incoming class.”

Mak also hopes that the incoming class can carry on the coffeehouse tradition. 

“We also wanted them to have the chance to interact with current students and meet them,” he said. “I think that the arts program at Nueva is not emphasized enough to applicants, but I think that there have been many recent efforts to change that.”

Yang also hopes for change with the next class.

While the first coffeehouse fell in the fall/winter and offered hot chocolate and small snacks, the second took place in warmer and longer days. Mak and Yang decided on offering sliders and tater tots from Jack’s Prime. The organizers met after the “Arts Opening x Coffeehouse” event to debrief the successes and areas for improvement for next year. Yang, Mak, and Hwong agreed that while it had been a successful event, they would probably split the arts opening from the coffeehouse in the future. The intention would be to offer more opportunities and different venues for the arts to be spotlighted and celebrated.