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Fashion for all time at BCAC’s signature event

Stephanie Walz | Tuesday, March 30, 2010

From the roaring 20s to the modern day, the Black Cultural Arts Council (BCAC) took its audience on a ride through time Saturday night to show off the latest popular fashions and current hip-hop trends with their signature event, the BCAC Fashion Show.

BCAC is an organization designed to respond to the needs of the African-American community by providing leadership opportunities and sponsoring community service projects.

The program at Washington Hall, this year titled “The Time Warp,” featured 25 clothing models, dancing, poetry readings and a range of jazzy and current music.
Freshman Chiamaka Chinenye said the show is a celebration of black culture and diversity within the Notre Dame community.

“The show was not only a fashion show, but also a dance showcase which displays the intellectual creativity of African Americans,” she said.

This year’s show included poetry readings interspersed throughout the musical numbers. Students recited classic poetry, such as one from author Langston Hughes, recounting the story of the African-American’s plight in the United States.

One of the most inspirational poems of the evening, Maya Angelou’s “I Rise,” told of the struggles and hardships of slavery but, more importantly, how African-Americans overcame them.

Keeping with the Time Warp theme, models also recited some more modern poems and songs, such as Gemineye’s “Penny for your Thoughts” and Anthony Hamilton’s “Dear Life.”
Short sketches and dances received most of the attention, as the models confidently sported fashions from various clothing donors, including Old Navy, DEB, Tops and Bottoms and the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore.

Music ranged from the old-school Jackson Five to the contemporary hip hop and R&B music, like Beyonce, as per the show’s theme.

Throughout the show, students and community members alike helped to maintain the energy of the show as they were enthusiastic and supportive of their friends on stage.
Sophomore Mike Wiederecht said, “It was an enjoyable way to learn how different cultures express themselves, and to bring the campus community closer together.”

Students cheered on their peers during the performance, as the performers incorporated the crowd and facilitated audience participation by dancing and strutting down the aisles during the show.

But the show is about a lot more than simply clothes and culture. BCAC also uses the event to contribute funds to both education and charity.

In fact, $2,000 of the money raised this year will go toward the Thurgood Marshall College Fund. The scholarship, established in 1993, assists one female and one male African-American non-athlete college student each year. It is awarded in the student’s sophomore year and pays for his or her undergraduate career.

Another portion of the show’s takings will go directly toward the Haiti Relief Fund through the Holy Cross Mission Center.

The Council’s hard work was not only designed to entertain and educate current students and community members, but also prospective students. Not coincidentally, Spring Visitation, the admissions outreach program for multi-cultural prospective students, also took place this past weekend. These high school seniors were invited to both the fashion show and Latin Expressions (La Alianza’s signature event), so they could experience the opportunities and diversity on campus.