It was a packed house at The Box last Friday at 6 p.m. Off Knox and Cellar Door collaborated for a night full of short stories, poetry and plenty of music. The small and intimate space brought many students and faculty together to support the performances given by fellow students, leaving some people taking spots on the floor.
Many voices filled the room. Performers included sophomore Natalie Baldino who covered “Coming Down” by Anaïs Mitchell and also performed an original song. Sophomore Susannah Lodge-Rigal showcased her voice with two original songs.
After the show, she only had good things to say about her experience. She performed for a second time at Off Knox that night.
Lodge-Rigal only picked up the guitar a little over a year ago and has been writing her own songs for a long time. She shared how nervous she was but still felt comfortable enough to come back.
“It offers people a really safe space to share their creativity and their products of their art,” Lodge-Rigal said.
Junior Hayley Beeson is the lead coordinator of Off Knox. When planning an Off Knox event, planning the date is essential, to make sure it works in favor of different schedules between students.
The next step is to find a venue that will work for the particular date considered, which happened to be The Box. Beeson talked about getting the word out with posters and social media to the Knox and Galesburg community. The event was open to people beyond just students.
“I mostly get students, but I’ve had teachers perform and other people in the Galesburg community,” Beeson said.
Many of the same people return to the event and support the newcomers, which promotes a cycle of positive energy for every show.
“I’m hoping people will get the typical Off Knox experience but also get some exposure to Cellar Door that they wouldn’t usually and be encouraged to submit themselves,” junior Grace Davis said.
The head editor of Cellar Door discussed the revamped look for the book. The publication was previously printed on newspaper and is now a fully bound book, fully colored with original art. The cover features a shot by junior Katie Sullivan.
This has been the first time Cellar Door is released in conjunction with another event. Davis wanted to make sure many people got to see the new book, which is why the joined event seemed like a good idea to expand the audience for Cellar Door as well as Off Knox.
“Cellar Door and Off Knox share the same philosophy in that if you love your art, then you should be able to showcase it here at Knox,” she said.
There is no audition for Off Knox and no rejection from Cellar Door. If a student is willing to get in front of an audience, it is open to them. If a student is willing to workshop their writing pieces, the mag will publish their work.
First-time audience member freshman Kelly Clare was happy to be part of the event and would like to perform when she gains the confidence.
“I think it really allows people who are usually restricted,” Clare said. “It gives people a chance to explore other areas that they are normally not able to perform in front of other people — this actually gives them an audience and a venue, and it’s really open to anyone.”