Release Date: 
Wednesday, September 13, 2023

HFC-24: Fine Arts hosts innovative 24-hour collaborative arts project

Event Date: 
Sat, 09/30/2023 - 6:40pm
MacKenzie Fine Arts Center, Adray Auditorium and Sisson Gallery
Looped pieces of colored string outlilning a lightbulb shape and radiating out to the edges of the frame.

The HFC Fine Arts department will hold its 24-hour arts project, called HFC-24, from 7:00 p.m. on Friday, September 29, to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 30, in the Sisson Art Gallery and the Adray Auditorium in the MacKenzie Fine & Performing Arts Center (Building F) on the main campus.

A kick-off ceremony will begin HFC-24, which involves five Fine Arts programs:

Specific details about HFC-24 are not being publicly shared, which is absolutely intentional, says HFC Director of Theatre Dr. John Michael Sefel.

“For now, the rules are shrouded in mystery, but I can say that during our kick-off event students will be given their instructions,” said Sefel. “After that, a 24-hour period begins. At the end, we'll hold a large presentation of performances and exhibitions of the students' work in Sisson and Adray. Audiences should expect music, theatre, visual arts, and multimedia.”

Uniting the five programs to work side-by-side

HFC-24 is organized by the heads of each of the programs: Sefel, Susan McGraw, Vicki Shepherd, Steve Glazer, and Anthony Lai.

HFC-24 was inspired in part by last year’s HFC-23 event put on by Sefel, which brought students together to create new plays in collaboration with Detroit-based playwrights in just 23 hours. This year, five different HFC Fine Arts departments are exploring how students can jump in and work together to create exciting and interdisciplinary artistic conversations, artwork, compositions, and performances in just 24 hours.

“This is the first time every discipline in Fine Arts has worked together on one big event,” said Lai. “This collaboration of creative minds in these different disciplines should make HFC-24 an exciting event. I hope this is the first of many collaborations.”

Sefel agreed with Lai.

“The Fine Arts Center is home to many forms of artistic expression,” said Sefel. “Unfortunately, it’s easy for our areas to focus inward and separate ourselves from each other. The heads of each department got together and decided we would work toward finding collaborative, interdisciplinary opportunities in which our many students could see and experience the intersections between their work. In the arts and entertainment industry, actors, filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, and graphic designers work side-by-side on a regular basis.”

He continued: “We wanted to get our students to start thinking of their peers in all artistic disciplines as potential collaborators and partners. Holding this event so early in the semester is challenging, but it's absolutely worth it to have students working alongside so many of their peers and, hopefully, creating the groundwork for an entire year of friendship and interdisciplinary collaboration.”

Focus is on having fun and making connections

HFC-24 is designed to be a positive, supportive, artistically-experimental event. While there is the 24-hour clock, faculty members are putting their efforts into ensuring that the event is a positive, non-competitive, healthy experience for students – with plenty of time to go home and sleep!

“The 24-hour concept may seem intimidating, but no student will actually be working for the full 24 hours,” said Sefel. “The focus is fully on having fun and making connections.”

“I am really excited about the possibilities of this endeavor,” said Glazer. “Vicki and Susan and I have worked together on many projects over the years, but it has only been since the arrival of John and Anthony that all of the programs that operate out of the Fine Arts Center have been able to play together on a singular project or theme, which I think is so cool!”

Tickets are free, but cash donations will be collected and distributed to the student-run clubs in Fine Arts and the Hawks’ Nest, HFC’s food pantry for students. Doors open at 6:40 p.m. on Saturday, September 30. The event should run for approximately two hours. Audience discretion is advised as there may be material that is not suitable for children.

“I am looking forward to working with our students outside the classroom, where each of them gets to design and create their own vision,” said Shepherd.

Students interested in being involved in HFC-24 should contact a faculty member to sign up for this opportunity: