Photo Courtesy of Jesus Villanueva
South by Southwest? Check. San Antonio Book Festival? Check. Fiesta Festivities? Check.
UTSA Underground? Consider adding this one to the list. Featuring a wide range of artistic abilities, this free event was created by UTSA students for UTSA students and will literally take place in the tunnels under the Multidisciplinary Studies Building. Don’t miss the debut of UTSA Underground this Tuesday, April 28 from 9:30 p.m. – midnight.
The idea was born in Dr. Steve Parker’s Music Marketing classroom, where senior Jesus Villanueva and six of his classmates were tasked with getting a feel for what business people in the music industry do on a daily basis. From there, they were given total control of what their final project would be, and now they’re witnessing their work coming to fruition.
“After some brain storming, we decided to make it an all-around artistic event in a unique location that nobody would think to use as a venue,” Villanueva said. “The phrase ‘Art for the 99 percent,’ stemmed from our final decision.”
While the event is coming together in its final stages, it hasn’t been without difficulty. From getting approval from the university to host the event, to obtaining public safety permits, UTSA Underground came with its fair share of hurdles. Villanueva’s exact words were that the planning stages were “tedious and difficult.”
“After hashing out several ideas, we settled on UTSA Underground,” Villanueva said of the event’s name. “It not only stood for the venue, but for the hidden talent within the university.”
The group’s goal is to give non-music majors with artistic talent an outlet for, not only music, but also visual art, poetry and dance. By doing this, they hope to bring more attention to all that the music department at UTSA has to offer students of any classification or major.
“We decided to not only make ourselves known, but to make other students within different departments known as well,” Villanueva said.
While everyone in the group is classically trained, some of them also like experimenting with other styles and genres. Jesus spends a lot of time composing classical guitar music, and he plays in the worship band for CRU, a Christian student organization that meets on campus. Despite their talents, however, the team will not be performing.
“We planned on having others take the stage for the first time,” Villanueva said. “We will be working in and around our individual stages to make sure everything is running smoothly.”
Assuming everything goes as planned for UTSA Underground’s first go-round, the group hopes to see this become an annual event that future music marketing students take on themselves.
“The audience should expect all of this and more since this event is for them to become more immersed within the community of UTSA by seeing their fellow colleagues perform,” Villanueva explained. “Perhaps they would become interested in performing in the next Underground event as well.”
Take a study break and wander down to the tunnels for some free entertainment. Your brain will thank you, and you can always head right back to the JPL afterward, conveniently located directly above ground.