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Arts for All Ages: LoKo Festival Returns to SUNY Potsdam

April 26, 2024
SUNY Potsdam Welcomes Community to LoKo Arts Festival from April 30 to May 5 

Liza Paige ’12, an adjunct instructor of art at SUNY Potsdam, sits in a “2D Dorm Room” she created within the Lougheed Learning Commons. The interactive optical illusion drawn entirely in outlines, has props to help replicate the feeling of a college dormitory dwelling. 

SUNY Potsdam is thrilled to bring together campus and community with its annual celebration of creativity—the LoKo Arts Festival.

The 2024 LoKo Arts Festival will feature a range of free events highlighting the beauty and complexity of the visual, language and performing arts. The festival will run from Tuesday, April 30 to Sunday, May 5.

As always, the talent and creativity of SUNY Potsdam students will be on full display throughout the LoKo Festival—from choreography to poetry to artwork. All are welcome to enjoy the arts, and experience the joy and creativity of the SUNY Potsdam campus at the height of the spring semester! To check out all the events and the downloadable schedule, visit

The festival kicks off on Tuesday, April 30 at 4 p.m., with a public reading by acclaimed poet Ama Codjoe, winner of the Whiting and Lenore Marshall awards, and a finalist for the NAACP and Kate Tufts Discovery awards for her latest collection, “Bluest Nude.” She is also the author of “Blood of the Air,” winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Codjoe will read from her work and share insights and inspiration in the Black Box Theater at the Performing Arts Center. A brief Q&A session will follow the reading.

On Wednesday, May 1, Filmprov will bring a unique and interactive experience to The Crane School of Music, with a contemporary music improvisation workshop and performance, at 7:30 p.m. in the Joy Rehearsal Room in Bishop Hall Room C119. In an inversion of traditional form where music inspires the dance, original and repurposed archival footage of dance and movement will provide the inspiration and structure for the musical experience, led by Emilie Fortin (trumpet), Kalun Leung (trombone) and Christine Hoerning (clarinets).

Graduating seniors in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in creative writing will lead readings of their poetry and prose on Thursday, May 2 at 4 p.m. The BFA Readings will be offered in the Barrington Student Union Fireside Lounge.

The Spring Dance Concert will debut the same evening, at 7:30 p.m. in the Proscenium Theater in the Performing Arts Center. This year’s concert will feature works by two senior choreographers, Gabriella Smith ’24 and Frankie Beshers ’24, as well as pieces by faculty member Kerri Canedy, alumna Kit Athanasidy and special guest artist Hettie Barnhill. This project is also made possible with funds from the NYS DanceForce, a partnership program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. Evening performances will be offered at 7:30 p.m. from Thursday, May 2, to Saturday, May 4, ending the run with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 5.

From left, Meghan McCarthy, Deasia Hargrove, and  Emma Stillwell  dance  in “Ayrus” during a previous Senior Choreographers' Concert.

The traditional Spring Festival Concert at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music will be presented on Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m., in the Helen M. Hosmer Concert Hall. The Crane Chorus and Crane Symphony Orchestra will perform works by Johannes Brahms and Christopher Theofanidis. “The Here and Now” by Theofanidis is a multi-movement setting of Persian poetry by Jalal ad-Din Rumi about joy, love, and gratitude. Brahms’ “Nänie” is a German setting of Friedrich Schiller’s lamentation about loss and death. This concert, conducted by Adrian Slywotzky and Jeffrey Francom, is dedicated to the memory of Dorothy Albrecht Gregory ‘61 and Donald Lougheed (Hon. ‘54). Faculty soloists will include Colleen Skull, Donald George and Steven Groth. The free concert will also stream live on YouTube at the concert time. For a program and livestream link, visit

A student performs on stage at Hosmer Hall during a rehearsal for the 2023 traditional Spring Festival Concert at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.

Immerse yourself in creative endeavors on Saturday, May 4, starting with the Stitch-A-Thon, celebrating fiber arts and folk crafting. All skill levels are welcome at the free stitching event. At the same time, stick around for Artstop, a hands-on and welcoming crafting and arts experience, with crafts, painting, drawing, coloring and friendship bracelet activities available. There will also be a juice bar, coffee and tea for all participants. Both events will be offered from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center lobby. Later that day, you can try your hand at graphic design during the American Institute of Graphic Design (AIGA) Drawing Day, to help participants learn to design their own stickers, pictures and tattoos. The event will be held at 2 p.m., in the graphic design lab in Dunn Hall.

The Two Worlds Project” will come to the PAC’s Black Box Theater, with free performances on Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. “The Two Worlds Project” is a verbatim documentary theatre play that aims to explore the urban/rural divide in New York State, and the experiences, attitude, and values of people in both of these places toward their local communities and the direction of the state and country. Comprised of sections of 40 interviews with individuals from both the North Country and New York City, this performance project seeks to explore how theatre can disrupt biases people may have about communities that are geographically and/or culturally different from their own. This project was conceived by Ryan Howland, a theatre artist, educator and doctoral candidate at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development.

The student-run Madstop Records will sponsor Madfest on Saturday, May 4, starting at 4 p.m., in the new Marshall Park Bandshell, funded by the Student Government Association. Come enjoy live music performed by students and musicians from across the state, with a strong lineup of bands, including PINS (People in Need of Supervision), Everbound, Red Rooks, Zak G, Nykara, Tiger Eye and New American Cuisine. The headline performer, indie rock band Divine Sweater, traveled from Boston to close out the festival. Their music has more than 2 million streams on Spotify and are praised for their dreamy and dynamic music with a healthy dose of groove.

Throughout the festival, don't miss the opportunity to view the 2D Dorm Room installation created by faculty member and alumna Liza L. Paige ’12. She is the arts educator at the North Country Children’s Museum and is an adjunct instructor at SUNY Potsdam, Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University. Her recent works (heavily formed through drawing) are presented as installations that aim to create inter-generational art experiences for interactive audiences. The viewer becomes a part of the work by participation and/or creation. The 2D Dorm Room installation will be on display from May 1 to 5 in the Lougheed Learning Center lobby.

Reina Boyea ’24 hangs her work at the Gibson Gallery in preparation for the BFA Exhibition, on display at the Gibson Gallery from April 19 to May 18.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition will continue in the Gibson Gallery throughout LoKo, displaying works by graduating seniors in SUNY Potsdam’s rigorous BFA program. The artists include Reina Boyea ’24, Kendall Jones ’24, José Abel Santiago ’24 and Madelyn Thompson ’24. To learn more and find the gallery hours, visit 

Kathryn Kofoed Lougheed ’54 and Donald Lougheed (Hon. ’54) founded the LoKo Arts Festival in 2012, to bring the campus festival tradition back to Kathy’s alma mater. 

For more information, visit 

About SUNY Potsdam:  

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit 

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