AMP enters the campus scene

New ASU music and art organization kicks off the new year with a show in ASU's Secret Garden

The ASU Art, Music, and Poetry club (AMP) hosted a free show in the ASU Secret Garden on Jan. 13 to kick off the spring semester with notable local acts such as Inner Wave and Injury Reserve. 

The event, called Secretfest, showcased musicians and visual artists from around the Valley.

This is the first event put on by the new student organization AMP, which shares some leadership with the now-defunct The Underground Foundation, which promoted local music and culture.

AMP club president and Interdisciplinary student Tyler Clark said that the club's main goal is working towards benefiting and improving the local art and music scene by breaking down the barriers of entry into music, poetry or art. 

"Often times people feel pressured that they need to perform to some standard, but we want to encourage art of all forms and encourage people to share their work in an environment where they know they're not going to be ridiculed for it," Clark said. 

Ricky Arnold, business senior and club treasurer, said that AMP aims to integrate a greater community of student artists with the pre-existing art scene in the giant urban landscape that surrounds ASU. 

“Many people who come to ASU are not familiar with the culture of the city or with the network around here,” Arnold said. “I myself am extremely new to the area, and though I feel like I've done an excellent job with the year and a half of living here in Tempe, I can easily claim that it was, and still is, a struggle.”

The club said that above all they aim to provide an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their thoughts to those they might not be familiar with — to provide a type of safe space for artistic expression. 

Arnold said the organization has zero tolerance for bigotry and that AMP tries their best to ensure that all of their events are safe for students of every background. 

“We have no tolerance for homophobia, sexual misconduct, abuse of any nature, fascism, racism, hate speech, etc., and if people are like that at our events we'll tell them to stop participating,” Arnold said. 

The AMP officers said that TUF ceased operations because they wanted a fresh start by providing a club that is relevant to students. 

"TUF just wasn't who we were," said Alexandria Berg, graphic design senior and club design chair. "It wasn't evolving in a direction we liked and wasn't representative of who we are." 

The club officers said they believed that the foundation in the former club was missing and said new students were unfamiliar with TUF's vision. Although The Underground Foundation had accomplished much as an organization, the officers wanted to head in a more inclusive direction, said Nick Rennemann, graphic design junior and club vice-president. 

"We want to be known for our own achievements rather than carrying on a legacy we did not have a direct role in," he said. 

The officers said they hope members are able to make connections so that they can continue to build bonds and relationships that will result in them collaborating and creating new art with one another. 

“We want to facilitate environments where this type of behavior is encouraged, because someday down the road they might end up forming a new band we book, with fans of their own, thus repeating the cycle,” Clark said. “At the end of the day though, we're just a bunch of kids trying to throw shows for artists we love.”

Students can look forward to art galleries, poetry slams and local concerts hosted by AMP. Weekly meetings are held every Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Discovery Hall 350 where students can hear about the club’s upcoming events, with the first official meeting being on Jan. 17.

Reach the reporter at or follow @seaboiii on Twitter.

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