Graduate students open The February School, a creative event space
Graduate students in the Program in Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) have turned the Weisner Gallery, located on the second floor of the student center, into a creative event space called The February School. The organizers described it as “an intervention into the nested ecosystem of education at MIT,” according to posters advertising the School.
Nicolas Kisic Aguirre G, the student who initially applied to use the Weisner Gallery, views this student-managed space as separate from what he called “somewhat oppressive structures of academia.”
Most of the 11 ACT students have been involved in a variety of events and installations at the School.
One event which took place Tuesday was about creating a safe space for the discussion of reparations for past oppression, and it was combined with making homemade ice cream. Nolan Oswald Dennis G, the organizer, explained that “the kitchen is a political space.” Citing the autobiography of Maya Angelou, Dennis explained that black people were banned from eating vanilla ice cream in the Jim Crow South.
The physical space of the School features chairs from various MIT departments; tables created with two sawhorses, a large particle board, and a sheet of clear plastic; a plant nursery; organically shaped red furniture; and a reflective push-pin wall.
Kisic Aguirre initially imagined that his department could display their artwork. During discussion over winter break, this idea further transformed to represent “what a different art school at MIT could look like,” according to Dennis.
All events are free and open to the public. “We want to also engage with people not from MIT,” Kisic Aguirre said.
This space is available until the end of the month. A list of events can be found at thefebruary.school.