Go With OOA: Half Dead featuring Dylan Golden at Lincoln Center
There is something special about planning a large event and seeing it come to life, and it is even more special to be able to bring my fellow Hunter students to said event. On April 5th, I had the pleasure of leading the Go With OOA: Half Dead ft. Dylan Golden outing, representing Hunter as an Arts Ambassador, as well as representing Lincoln Center as a member of their Student Advisory Council.
Throughout the school year, I have been part of a group of students interested in and/or studying the performing arts. Student Advisory Council members meet monthly and meetings consist of planning one public event at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium in the spring, as well as discussions with Lincoln Center staff. We also give insight into engaging college students with the Lincoln Center campus and spread the word about various events (many free or discounted). We got to pitch artists for the event, help with marketing and social media, and some people even got to interview the artist–Dylan Golden–and help out with sound check. Fun fact: my group actually pitched Dylan Golden and the Half Dead project!
What is great about the shows at the Atrium is that they’re free for all, making it easy to set up a Hunter outing. I was even able to snag some VIP seats for everyone who RSVP’d for the event. A small group of us got to watch the show together. Golden invited the audience to get close to the stage and stand and really engage with the music and the lyrics in whatever way came naturally to us. I sat with my fellow Council members, but many of the Hunter students got to get up close to the stage.
Golden, a hip hop artist and rapper, is a mesmerizing performer who engages with both the audience and the band on stage. His performance was heightened by the short film playing in the background, which added weight and depth to his words (Half Dead is produced by GSM Creative, a collective of artists co-founded by Golden and his siblings). Some songs were more personal, while others spoke to the experiences of black folks and Latinx folks in the United States today, including but not limited to police brutality, corruption, racial tensions/racism, and more.
I especially appreciated how Dylan Golden allowed Kaylan Arnold, one of his collaborators, a chance to have her own mini-set during the program. She wasn’t just someone featured in a couple of Golden’s songs; he let her shine. It’s so important for artists to support one another, and I can imagine how special it must have been for Arnold, a young black woman artist, to also be able to perform her own music at Lincoln Center.
After the show, I got to briefly chat with some of the Hunter students about the show. For the most part, it seems like everyone really enjoyed the performance and were excited for what’s coming up from Golden and GSM Creative in the future.
The Atrium generally has free performances every Thursday (sometimes Friday), and artists cover a range a genres and come from around the world. The Student Advisory Council is a year-long opportunity, and applications for the 2019-2020 school year should be out in a few months. Several Hunter students have been on the Council in the past.