Think about how you get to class every day. Do you drive? Do you take the bus? Do you jaywalk across College Oak or Myrtle?
Now focus on what you see every day around American River College. Fast food places, gas stations, stores and shops and not much else.
But there’s one thriving, living and breathing place that has all the activities and amenities that any person could desire.
Yep. Good old ARC.
Culturally, the area around ARC is barren. Besides the movie theater on Greenback, your next closest destinations for anything arts-based is in Arden, downtown Sacramento, or farther.
While those places aren’t necessarily far away, there are many ways that ARC can contend with them in general.
Do you like classical music, or have you been meaning to try and listen to it more? Go see one or more of any number of concerts that ARC’s music department puts on throughout the semester. There’s plenty more than classical, too, including jazz, hip-hop, the Acoustic Cafe event and more.
Live theater is a cornerstone of creative expression in history as a whole, and it offers the audience experiences that television and movies can’t replicate. It’s live, and you’re there.
Real, living, breathing actors on stage in front of you, performing scenes and songs they’ve been rehearsing for months — it’s exhilarating.
The dance department puts on performances throughout the year ranging from styles such as hip-hop, classical, ballet, and everything in-between.
Last semester, ARC hosted the Urban Hip Hop Class Competition, and invitational dance battle between groups from three separate Los Rios Colleges.
Sports are a huge part of American culture. How many ARC students realize that all home games on campus are free for them?
In a school with 28,175 students currently enrolled as of Spring 2014, there could be a much more active presence cheering on our athletic teams, who are often quite good, with ARC’s football team being one of the top ranked amongst community colleges statewide leading up to the playoffs.
It is true, though, that ARC could be doing a better job to embrace their role as a cultural center for it’s own neighborhood. Some outreach of any kind beyond just the campus doesn’t hurt at all.
There is plenty of on campus advertisement for the arts at ARC, but can these departments, or the Fine Arts department as a whole, figure out a cohesive way to move these efforts past 4700 College Oak and out into the community?
While the endeavor could become costly, extending advertising and outreach to other outlets and publications outside of ARC like local newspapers and broadcast stations would go a long way in extending the outreach of ARC’s campus culture.
One can only imagine the increased enrollment of students and their involvement in campus activity if advertisements highlighting ARC’s diverse campus culture were shown across the screens of Cinema 16 on Greenback before movie-goers indulge in their movies.
ARC seems committed or, at the very least, interested in expanding extracurricular events and access to them for students on campus, but it hasn’t fully embraced outreaching to prospective students.
Enrollment and participation on campus could increase ten-fold if ARC could figure out a way to appeal to individuals who might not have entertained the thought of college initially, but find themselves drawn into the lively campus atmosphere that encourages expression and exploration.
So, next time you’re looking for something to do, do some digging on ARC’s website and find yourself something to do.
I guarantee you’ll have fun.