Student Life

Virtual Event Connects Students with Art

Nina Simone’s “Mississipi Goddam” played in the background, as students waited to present their written work. Hunter College art student Cailynn Fortune took the attendance of the students to start the first virtual creative writing and reading event organized by The Office of the Arts.

Of the 13 participants, six shared work they had written. Having these virtual events is more vital than ever during a pandemic that creates a less human interaction, Fortune said.

“Being able to see your friends and new people is imperative so you don’t go crazy while you are still at home all day,” she said. “Especially at a setting like this where it is not a classroom.”

The virtual workshop accepted submissions of students from all majors. The program was conducted to connect students through their poetry, monologues and story excerpts, according to the event’s host.

Fortune, who is also an arts ambassador at the Office of the Arts, led the event with Esther Ko, the student engagement assistant director at OOA, who moderated the event.

“We are still figuring the virtual thing out; it is not the same as being in a room and sharing a certain energy together,” said Ko. “But we are slowly learning to adapt with the new changes.”


Angelisa Cortorreal, a junior at Hunter College, was among the handful of participant work selected to be presented. Her work “Mississippi Goddamn” was read by the participants aloud, the only screenplay of the evening. 

“As an artist, getting to hear each other’s work and just making connections with other artists is super helpful and inspiring for my work,” she said.  

Ko and Fortune shared their own work during the final few minutes of the 90-minute event. Two of the other work was shared by the college freshman. 

“For freshman it’s a very hard year to start a semester, events like this where you can still meet people can be really useful,” Fortune said. 

Last summer OOA ambassadors led virtual gatherings that involved making an art in response to George Floyd’s killing and a virtual open studio which focused on book and collage making. 


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