THANK YOU FOR A GREAT NEXTNOW SUMMERFEST! The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland

Dear friends,

Thank you for supporting NextNOW SummerFest. We're so glad to have shared four days of creativity, connection and community. Scroll through memory lane before you head into the rest of the summer.

See you in the cloud!

Team NextNOW Fest

PS: Be sure to check-out the NextNOW SummerFest playlist created by curators Marjorie Antonio ’21, John Smith21 and Kira Peck22.


Lessons learned from NextNOW SummerFest will help us plan the best NextNOW Fest experience for you in September. If you attended the SummerFest, complete our end-of-week survey to receive a limited-edition NextNOW SummerFest bandana.


Everyone is creative. Creativity doesn’t discriminate across race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status or field of study: SummerFest demonstrated that everyone has the inherent capacity and right to be creative. We also believe that discovery is exciting, and it’s worth taking the chance on new experiences, because you never know what you might end up loving! Re-live the creativity and discovery of SummerFest:

Mon, July 20, 2020

Waterbending 101: Introduction to Watercolor Painting

NextNOW Fest curator Marjorie Antonio ’21 and Karli Lawrence ’21 from UMD’s Artsphere helped us channel our inner waterbender through a watercoloring workshop, where they taught us their favorite techniques and tricks to make Avatar characters come to life!

Works by Workshop Attendees

Tue, July 21, 2020

Riding the Radio Waves

NextNOW Fest curator Kira Peck ’22 teamed up with WMUC DJ Aishwarya Tare ’22 to set a summer vibe to the tunes of Ari Lennox, Masego, UMI & more!

DJ & Painter Aishwarya Tare ’22 with NextNOW Fest Curator Kira Peck ’22

Wed, July 22, 2020

Midsummer Night Showcase

John Smith21 discusses creativity with artist Hunter Jones20

NextNOW Fest curator John Smith ’21 hosted a group of student and community performers. It started with an electric musical set by singer-songwriter/musician Cuni. Ambi delivered a short comedy bit about the horrors of being 4’10 as a 23-year-old woman. Jose Cadiz from UMD's Office of Community Engagement educated us about the US census and voter registration in College Park. Visual artist Hunter Jones ’20 talked about the intricacies of the creative process and her future projects. Tayo Omisore ’18 closed the show with his insights on using art to conjure empathy. The Midsummer Night Showcase proved to be an example of the transformative power of art, dialogue and community.

Thu, July 23, 2020

Tayo Omisore ’18, Mike Hauser ’17 & Kira Peck ’22

Tayo shared poetry and original songs inspired by Frank Ocean, happiness, empathy, romantic love, his personal feelings on being black in such turbulent times and on how important it is to acknowledge and remind yourself where you come from. “I am abundantly Black. I am abundantly proud.”

Spoken Word Artist Tayo Omisore18 performs for NextNOW SummerFest

Mike delighted us with his signature groovy and unconventional pop tunes. With each song, he guided us through his creative process as a music artist affected by the limitations brought on by the pandemic, proving the transcendental nature of art.

Musician Mike Hauser17 performs for NextNOW SummerFest

At the conclusion of their sets, NextNOW Fest curator Kira Peck ’22 hosted a Q&A with the two artists about their connection to UMD as alumni, their favorite bands in middle school and how they learned to produce and mix music.


We believe that art can shape and transform our future. We are all connected. To that end, it's important to be aware of how our actions and decisions affect the sustainability and longevity of the resources we use, the spaces we inhabit and the communities to which we belong. Below are resources to continue thinking about and engaging with the values we embraced throughout SummerFest.

Help Terps in Need

We recognize that many students in our UMD community are struggling right now. We hope that you’ll consider giving what you can to the UMD Student Crisis Fund, which provides immediate assistance to any University of Maryland College Park student who faces an unanticipated emergency financial need.


Continue reflecting on and acknowledging the Indigenous roots of the land that you’re on. The land that the University of Maryland and The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center resides on today is home to the Piscataway tribe. We encourage you to use a resource like native-land.ca to learn more. Read about land acknowledgements from the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture.

Support Black Owned Businesses

Throughout the SummerFest, we partnered with four Black owned restaurants in the vicinity of the University of Maryland for delicious pre-show meals! We encourage you to continue supporting them and other Black-owned restaurants in your area!

Gangster Vegan • Riverdale, MD

Milk & Honey Cafe • College Park, MD

NuVegan Cafe • College Park, MD

The Carolina Kitchen • Hyattsville, MD

Being Active Citizens

Thank you to Jose Cadiz from UMD's Office of Community Engagement for joining us to discuss our civic duty to vote and be counted on the 2020 Census!

Complete the 2020 Census

Register to Vote

THANKS TO all WHO MADE Nextnow summerfest possible!

Artist Partner Programs

Marjorie Antonio21, NextNOW Fest Curator

Erica Bondarev Rapach, Acting Executive Director - The Clarice

Tyler Clifford16, Assistant Artistic Administrator

Yarina Conners, Artistic Administrator

Karli Lawrence ’21, Campus Partner

Jeannette-Marie Lewis '22, Artist Partner Programs Graduate Assistant

Megan Pagado Wells, Associate Director of Programming

Kira Peck22, NextNOW Fest Curator

John Smith21, NextNOW Fest Curator

Austin Sposato23, Artist Services Coordinator

Finance & Administration

Jacquelyn Gutrick, Finance and Administration Specialist

Fernando Merchan MS ’16, Business Manager

Marketing & Guest Experience

Ashley Brown20, Undergraduate Marketing & CommunicationsAssistant

Zach Bryant22, Graduate Marketing & Communications Assistant

Paige Cook, Guest Experience Coordinator

Rika Dixon White, Director of Marketing & Guest Experience

Roxene Edwards15, Digital Experience Coordinator

Sara Gordon10, Manager of Guest Experience

Piama Habibullah, Assistant Director for Creative Strategy

Carlos Howard16, Marketing Communications Coordinator

Mary Loutsch, Marketing & Communications Assistant

Heather Markle06, Creative Coordinator

Kristen Olsen, Senior Guest Experience Coordinator

Charlene Prosser, Graphic Designer

Sarah Snyder, Assistant Director of Communications

Liana Stiegler17, Guest Experience Coordinator


Carrie Barton, Lighting Coordinator

Mike Houser17, Broadcast Technician

Devin Kinch, Projections Coordinator

Jen McDonald15, Production Coordinator

James Newman, Broadcast Technician

James O'Connell, Assistant Manager of Audio

Jeffrey Reckeweg05, Technology Shop Manager

Beth Ribar, Production Coordinator

Kat Rother, Production Coordinator

Kara Wharton, Production Manager


NextNOW Fest 2020

Join us September 8 - 12 for our first all-virtual NextNOW Fest! Stay tuned to your inbox and our social media for details.

Vital Signs: Creative Arts for Black Lives Mini-Grants

In an effort to support student voice and action related to the Black Lives Matter movement, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, UMD Office of Diversity and Inclusion and UMD Office of Multicultural Involvement and Community Advocacy in partnership with Black Terps Matter announce Vital Signs: Creative Arts for Black Lives Mini-Grants. More information will be available soon!

LEt's Be Friends

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