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Hang out with friends, attend special events and explore the arts.

By Duncan Cox, Emerging Leaders Intern, Film & Media Arts

Let’s be honest: It’s not very fun to go to the movies alone. It’s boring, awkward and worst of all, lonely.  This train of thought has contributed to an interesting trend in arts attendance – a downward trend nationwide. One of the biggest factors in determining whether or not people will attend arts events is simply having someone to go with. And while arts attendance at the U is bucking that trend, we know we have to find new and interesting ways to keep people coming back for more.

The Party AnnaDayWe’ve never been more connected as a society. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (a second Instagram to show your parents) and any number of social media outlets serve not only as a way to communicate, but as an essential part of our social lives.

So we asked ourselves, “Can social media be used to keep arts attendance on the rise?”

My name is Duncan Cox, and I’m a junior studying Film & Media Arts at the U. This summer, I’ve been working with the College of Fine Arts to answer that very question. With a little time, effort and a ton of help, we’ve created a solution, The Party.

The Party is an event series aimed at creating unique, safe and engaging social spaces for students to experience the arts on campus. By harnessing the power of social media, such as Facebook events, students can scope out these events beforehand to see whether or not their friends are going.

One of the key goals of The Party is student involvement. Student leaders within the college have an opportunity to host events, picking every facet of the event to their liking. With coaching and financial support from the college, we enable these student leaders to create awesome events that they’ll want to invite their friends to.

I’m incredibly excited to see how The Party turns out. I’ve already gotten a ton of positive feedback from fellow students, faculty and friends.

You certainly won’t want to miss the first event: The Party Kickoff @ UMFA – a late night dance party in the Grand Hall of the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. We’ll have a red carpet, DJ Lishus, food and free stuff. It’s going to be a blast!

To learn more about The Party, visit, or check out our Facebook page.