At the annual Hooplah Music and Arts Festival on Friday, students watched a hula hoop performance, made environmentally friendly crafts and tested out their own hula hoop skills.
Though Hooplah was originally scheduled to be held on the Harpur Quad, inclement weather forced organizers to relocate indoors to University Union room 202. The free festival, a collaboration between Hula Hoop Club and Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions (IDEAS), a club focused on promoting sustainability through greater environmental awareness, featured activities such as tie-dye and painting reusable canvas bags. It also included a show from Hoop Troop, Binghamton University’s hula hoop performance group.
With the event’s theme of sustainability, Hooplah sought to celebrate the environment and advocate for its protection while maintaining a fun atmosphere. Activities such as a clothing swap and free seed bombs mixed entertainment with environmental consciousness. Rachel Weisbrot, a senior majoring in environmental studies, the vice president of IDEAS and the performance manager for Hula Hoop Club, said the event aimed to show the connection between art and environmental awareness.
“It’s like a celebration of spring, art and sustainability,” Weisbrot said. “Bringing the elements of art and earth together.”
While hula hooping and environmental sustainability may seem to be unrelated interests, Weisbrot said the combination makes for an enjoyable experience while leading to greater environmental consciousness.
“I feel like art and sustainability can easily work together, and I feel like it helps people connect to the earth better,” Weisbrot said. “I really like incorporating the two. I think it’s just really fun.”
Weisbrot said simple changes in daily life can be important in decreasing environmental footprints and protecting the earth so future generations can enjoy it.
“Sustainability is a really big word, but it’s something you can incorporate in any part of your life,” Weisbrot said. “Just being conscious of the decisions you make and making sure that the future environment is one that’s suitable for our children and our grandchildren. That’s what sustainability means to me.”
Gina Anasagasti, creative director of the Hula Hoop Club and a junior majoring in mathematics, discussed what the club is about and what it has to offer to students who may be feeling the pressure of finals approaching.
“We promote stress-relieving activities through hula hooping, we teach tricks, we hang out, we socialize,” Anasagasti said.
Though Anasagasti is not a member of IDEAS, she said she shares many of their concerns about the environment, and expressed optimism that young people can make a change on an individual and collective level.
“I think our generation is a lot more environmentally conscious and it’s really good to get everyone involved in that because we’re residents of earth first,” Anasagasti said.
Anasagasti also said students should remember to make time for themselves and not let themselves crack under the weight of academic pressure.
“Take some time out of your day, even if it’s not hula hooping, and do something that you like to do,” Anasagasti said. “Just relax a little bit. College can be hard sometimes.”