On Wednesday evening, the students of the ASU National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association and the Cronkite College Council hosted the first Cronkite Coffee House, an event that included a live concert and art gallery, as well as coffee and cookies provided by Jobot Coffee.
The event was meant to give the same kind of ambience a coffee house might have: music, coffee and people socializing in a relaxing environment.
Club president of the ASU National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, Robert Soares, a journalism senior, said the idea for the event began in October when a student in the NLGJA brought it to the organization’s attention, though the event was put together three weeks prior. The organization felt it was an appropriate event for the NLGJA to host because arts and culture is such an important aspect to the whole LGBTQ community, Soares said.
“It really is an outlet for empowerment and creativity,” Soares said. “I also realize that all the kids at Cronkite are doing journalism, but they all have other talents and passions.”
This was also the first time live music has ever been played in the Cronkite building. There were four musical performances, all local.
Musician Luna Aura, 21, who categorizes her music as “electronic-pop” said she was thrilled to perform at the Cronkite Coffee House event. Although originally from San Diego, she grew up in Phoenix and grew up in the East Valley.
She says she’s been singing since she was 3 years old and writing music since she was 10 or 11 years old. She also plays acoustic guitar and some piano.
She has recently released another single titled “Remedy” and has a self-titled EP that is set to release in either summer or fall of 2014 on iTunes.
Luna enjoys performing her single “Wicked,” because “it’s just a cool upbeat anthem-esque song,” she said.
The event also featured an art gallery with five pieces from local artist Aaron Allen, as well as student work.
Soares felt this was an important addition to the event.
“That’s why in the art gallery you see these students who were able to share their passion outside of journalism, which is so cool,” he said.
Sophia Thomas and Alex Nelson, both journalism seniors, commanded the evening. They gave a comedic performance they said they hoped would be similar to the performances of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Both MC’s were hilarious, teasing the audience and performers.
“It’s exciting, because it’s the first time we’re doing anything like this downtown,” Nelson said. “I feel like these kinds of events only happen in Tempe.”
The event was a success and we all hope to see it live on. Club president Robert Soares has put together a plan so it can be used later, since he will be graduating this semester. The organizations involved hope to make it a semester event that other organizations are welcome to host.
The night’s success left a smile on everyone’s face as they enjoyed coffee, cookies, art and one and other’s company.
“What’s made me happiest this night is seeing that everyone that’s involved has been so supportive and so helpful, and there’s a lot of good vibes in this room tonight,” Soares said.
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Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled journalism senior Sophia Thomas’s name.