Introducing: The BellHops


by: MSC Communications Intern, Hiwot Adilow

In November I wrote about a musical ensemble being organized by Taylor Scott. She was recently interviewed by Communications Professor Sara McKinnon about the ensemble’s development and growth into a multi-arts collective called The BellHops. The BellHops “believe that everyone’s experiences matter and as fellow artists, it is their responsibility to help tell each other’s stories.” 

From Left to Right: Leland Pan (Violin), Frances Shepherd (Violin), Lauren Koehler (Flute), Zach Seaborne (Alto Sax)

From Left to Right: Leland Pan (Violin), Frances Shepherd (Violin), Lauren Koehler (Flute), Zach Seaborne (Alto Sax)

These stories have been weaved together into a 60 minute production entitled Honey In My Tea, which is being featured in the 2014 Line Breaks Festival in Promenade Hall at the Overture Center for the Arts.

Taylor Scott

Taylor Scott and Sara McKinnon giving performance feedback at a rehearsal 

Honey in My Tea explores themes of survival, resistance, and womanhood. It is a reality check that invites the audience to stand with the storyteller, creating a solution within the performance. The narrative is informed by both the experiences of ensemble members and the exploration of themes in works by Audre Lorde, Nina Simone, and Paolo Freire among others.

Video by ensemble member Sydney Parsons

See The BellHops performing Honey In My Tea on Thursday, April 24th @ 6pm and Friday, April 25th @9pm.

For more information about the Line Breaks Festival visit:

Fast-a-Thon Event Round-Up


Pictured Above: The MSA Executive board at the end of the Fast-a-thon

This post was submitted by the Muslim Students Association (MSA). MSA is a cultural, social, educational, and religious organization dedicated to learning, activism, and spirituality on campus. MSA is open to all UW and Madison community members regardless of faith, race, or cultural background. Anyone interested in Islam or Muslims is encouraged to join. This organization provides you with a great environment to meet Muslims, learn from renowned lecturers, and practice Islam as freely as possible. The MSA holds numerous events every semester that range from socials, to volunteering opportunities, speaker events, interfaith dialogue, and many, many more.  


Pictured Above: Dhool Siad and Asly Warren at Fast-a-thon

Fast-a-Thon is an annual event, held by the Muslim Students Association (MSA), that allows students of different backgrounds to come together to celebrate the culture of fasting in Islam. This year, at Ogg Hall, we highlighted the rich diversity that exists in the Islamic faith to create a sense of unity on our campus. Muslims are from all over the world and MSA strived to show that in this year’s Fast-a-thon.

One of the main objectives of this event was to educate the campus about Ramadan and fasting in Islam. Ramadan is a pillar of faith in Islam and is the month where Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. Although Ramadan was in the summer, we as the MSA wanted to showcase it to the campus community in the year. The event started with a short presentation about Ramadan and fasting and was followed by a poster exhibition from cultures around the world. Each poster showed the culture of that country and how Ramadan is celebrated in that culture. After the poster exhibition, a delicious free dinner was served from restaurants around the Madison area. The food ranged from Indonesian food to Arab food and everything else in between. All in all, the event was well received by the attendees and many people left the event with more insight on the Muslim World and the beautiful cultures that exist within it.


Pictured Above: Volunteers serving the delicious dinner to break the fast

Job Board: April 18, 2014

Website Content Editor, Wisconsin Union Human Resources

Application Due: 5/15/2015

Description: Persons in this position will be responsible for editing and maintaining content on the Wisconsin Union website. They will also be responsible for managing statistics on website usage and distributing reports on those statistics.

Read More…

Poverty Analysis Intern, Morgridge Center 

Application Due: 4/30/2014

Description: This position primarily requires interns to create information sheets detailing poverty facts and statistics supplied by the Institute for Poverty and Research. Applicants should have strong writing abilities and high organization. There is also an opportunity to receive course credit for this work.

Read More…

Break Dance Instructor and Hip Hop Dance Instructor, PEOPLE Program

Application Due: 4/23/2014

Description: As part of the PEOPLE Program’s pre-college summer enrichment program they expose their students to various cultural and artistic avenues through their fine arts courses. This course is on Break Dancing and Hip Hop Dance.

Read More…

Zumba Instructor, PEOPLE Program Continue reading

HAPPY Tuesday!

HAPPY Tuesday from the MSC!

Pharell Williams, his hat, and Oprah Winfrey are bringing us all the feels today!

Before Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy” was nominated for an Academy Award, before it reached the top of the Billboard charts, before it garnered 182 million views on YouTube and before it sold more than a million copies, it was just another song that wasn’t even getting played on the radio. Then, on Nov. 21, 2013, Pharrell released “Happy” with a music video and everything changed.

“Zero airplay, nothing. And the next thing you know, we put out the video on November 21 — all of a sudden, boom,” Pharrell says. “When I say, ‘Boom,’ I mean boom.”

People around the world responded to “Happy” by uploading videos of themselves dancing to the catchy song, from Malawi to Iceland to Washington, D.C. During Pharrell’s interview for “Oprah Prime,” Oprah plays a montage of these videos. As Pharrell watches, he becomes overwhelmed and begins to cry.

“It’s overwhelming because it’s like, I love what I do and I just appreciate the fact that people have believed in me for so long, that I could make it to this point, to feel that,” Pharrell says through tears.

“I get it,” Oprah says. “I so now get why it’s so infectious, because it came from such a clear space that the energy was absolutely uninterrupted by anything other than allowing it to flow from heart to heart. And that’s what happens when you see it.”

“Oprah Prime” airs on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network.

Originally posted on the Huffington Post on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

…And the happiness continues tomorrow, as Janet Mock will arrive on the UW campus to speak about her book Redefining Realness at Union South in the Varsity Room from 7 PM to 9 PM.

Rated P Arts Festival: Recap

The Filipino American Student Organization hosted the 4th annual Rated P Arts Festival on April 5, 2014. This year’s theme was the Art of Social Media. Cayden Mak, the New Media Director at 18 Million Rising, facilitated two engaging workshops on how to create an effective online campaign through social media.

Source: Filipino American Student Organization

Source: Filipino American Student Organization

The first focused on identifying our message. Often times we see campaigns or petitions that don’t really make sense or give the audience a reason to care. Cayden illustrates that understanding the story of self, us and now can help make that connection and influence people to get involved. During the workshop we thought about issues we have as individuals and as a group, how we handled them, and the results our actions made. We then applied that process to the issues of now. Cayden says one of the most important parts of a campaign is being clear and concise about what you hope to achieve and how your audience can help you do that.

The second focused on finding a vehicle for that message in digital spaces. In order to choose which social media platforms work best, you should work through possible weakness or limitations your campaign might face for that particular platform. Sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Tumblr and others all have strengths and weakness for different objectives. Once you understand what your audience does on those sites, it will be easier for you to deliver your message. If you have organized a rally, sit-in or conference, Cayden says you might want to think about live streaming it so people around the world can feel engaged as well.

For more resources about organizing and Cayden’s work, check out:

National Champion Still Hungry…

Even though our beloved Badgers were bested by the Wildcats of Kentucky on Saturday, and it seemed the city of Madison may implode upon itself, the NCAA National Championship Game was played Monday night. Thankfully, the University of Connecticut and Shabazz Napier, their star savior, rather than player, were able to deliver us some sort of restitution by defeating UK. However, at the end of the day there is an issue that stretches farther than UK, UConn, or even us here at UW.

ImagePhotograph by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The NCAA generates billions of dollars a year in revenue, head coaches are paid in the millions, and the athletes, which make it possible for this system to operate, are unable to receive any compensation. The argument is made that scholarships and the opportunity to attend such a prestigious university is enough, but it seems slightly peculiar that the star player of the team that just won the National Championship would admit to sometimes going to sleep “starving”. It makes you wonder the severity and reach of the issue and provides validation to its reality, especially as concurrently, the Northwestern Football Team is in the process of forming a players union.

For more about this check out Jamilah King’s “Race and Culture” Blog at