New Arts Initiative Promotes Inclusive Music Scene

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How can an artist-centered music scene at Colgate be sustained throughout the years?

One group on campus is envisioning this possibility.

With its name referencing nearby laundry facilities, The Mat transforms the flexible, open space of Parker Commons into a vibrant venue, where student and professional artists come together to perform music for the community.

The students leading this new initiative each have an interest in the performing arts and were brought together as part of a six-member task force. Their aim? To provide a new social scene where music and inclusivity take center stage.

“The MAT came about by looking back at Colgate’s music scene, especially in the 1970s, and looking ahead to see how we can recreate that atmosphere,” said Mark Sibold ’19.

In a few short months, the MAT has already hosted well-known acts, including The Wrecks, Phony PPL, OSHUN, and The Ready Set, with student artists like Sibold’s own group, Tach Band, providing the opening entertainment.

The student advisory group for The Mat is also hosting performances at local businesses in downtown Hamilton. These events, called MatX, are more intimate and meant to bring the college and the community together around music. The first MatX performance will take place on Thursday, April 25, at the newly-opened FoJo Beans and will feature an up-and-coming indie/R&B duo from Brooklyn. All students are invited to come and experience the live music for themselves.

“We want everyone to come and feel comfortable,” said Sibold.