By Danielle Williams
To most people, Woodstock was a hippie music festival that featured a lot of drugs and dancing in mud. More than half a million people were in attendance and Jimi Hendrix was the closing act.
Chloe Pachovas ’14 wanted to organize something similar at Grinnell, but on a smaller scale and more focused on social activism. This Saturday, April 27, Pachovas is proud to bring Cornstock to Grinnell.
Pachovas organized the festival along with the help of OPEN (anti-Oppression Peer Education Network). OPEN is an organization that promotes social justice and acts as a resource for campus activism; it works to celebrate the diversity of the Grinnell community.
“We are looking forward to creating a fun ambience in which to share social justice related issues with different groups on campus through performances and activities that will happen throughout the day,” Pachovas said. “All of the activities planned will be awesome.”
“Cornstock is a festival in celebration of social justice and activism in our community,” she added.
After realizing that many groups on campus shared an interest in promoting social justice, Pachovas came up with the idea for Cornstock. Her hope for this event is to increase communication between groups on campus and encourage collaboration between students to make social justice more accessible.
“The purpose of the festival is to emphasize our ability to do social justice through daily action. One of the most direct ways to affect change is through the open exchange of information. On the other hand, the restriction of that exchange can be debilitating and oppressive,” Pachovas said. “Cornstock strives to create a space that fosters open dialogue, interaction and expression. This is why Cornstock welcomes everyone to attend and to take the stage!”
The festival will feature various attractions throughout the day, from song to speech. The first part of the festival will take place by the amphitheatre from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Afterwards, the music festival will move to Gardner for a dance party from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. featuring a DJ from Florida and Gogo dancers.
“We have a few groups tabling, SOL will be face-painting and Pals of PALS will be bringing a puppy. We’ll have beach balls, fluorescent paint, chalk for people to use and AACT, a new campus group, will be barbequing around 5 p.m.,” Pachovas said.
They have even made room for other spur of the moment acts.
“We will have open mic/free speech hours and we will also have scheduled performances and speeches throughout the day. Any type of performance is welcome and we encourage everyone to participate,” Pachovas said.
Some of the scheduled performances include talks from SLAP and Save the Bison. Student bands like “The Night,” formerly known as “Shittiest Band of the Night,” and “BearShark” will also be in attendance. Spencer Liberto ’15, a member of both music groups, is very excited about the upcoming shows.
“Usually, [The Night likes] to play shows in Read lounge or in Gardner. We like playing loud music in dark, cramped rooms. It’s going to be different playing on Mac Field. But it sounds like a fun event and we’ve never had a show we didn’t like,” Liberto said. “For Cornstock, [BearShark had] a whole new set of original songs lined up with an awesome theme. BearShark is super pumped to be performing.”
Grinnell can look forward to an eventful day of face-painting, good music and social activism.
“Personally, I’m really happy that OPEN is putting on this event,” Liberto said. “First of all, OPEN has a mission of excellent social justice, so it is makes me happy to see that they’re getting the campus involved. Secondly, this event is going to be a giant festival on one of the first warm, sunny days of spring (*knock on wood*). Everyone is going to have fun.”