“Positive Vibes: A Self-Love Showcase” is an annual event presented by Women Empowered Support Protect Educate Advocate and Know at Binghamton University (WE SPEAK BU).
“We want to create an environment where students can feel free to share their work to a really open-minded and comfortable audience,” said Simona Maksimyan, vice president of WE SPEAK BU and a senior majoring in integrative neuroscience.
Maksimyan said that performances at this annual event are often relatable and inspiring.
“It’s comforting for people to hear things and realize that they’re not the only people feeling a certain way,” Maksimyan said. “The performers onstage feel that connection with the audience.”
The event will feature acts ranging from spoken-word poetry and dance to art showcases and rap performances. This showcase has evolved from its original roots, as “Positive Vibes” was originally known as “Positive Monologues,” where members of the WE SPEAK BU E-Board collaborated with the e-board members of other organizations and other BU students to recite monologues on different topics all related to self-expression and empowerment. Performers were chosen through an informal audition process, in which no performance is turned away.
Ariane Lucchini, president of WE SPEAK BU and a senior majoring in psychology, explained that the open nature of the show may lead to some uncomfortable moments. However, Maksimyan said that this discomfort is necessary to the impact of the event.
“The raw, revealing emotion emphasizes the points the performers are making,” Maksimyan said.
WE SPEAK BU is a student-run women’s empowerment group that promotes issues such as safe sex, sexual assault awareness, female empowerment, equality, body positivity, self-love and acceptance. Maksimyan said their goal is to go beyond merely criticizing issues they are passionate about.
“In these times, with the political climate, we don’t want to be people who just complain,” Maksimyan said. “We want to take people’s concerns and do something about them. We want people to be inspired to get an education, to pursue whatever career they want, to take on life in any aspect. We’re here to empower women to do whatever it is they want to be doing.”
Marie Baroutjian, WE SPEAK BU’s public relations chair and a sophomore double-majoring in political science and human development, explained that while it’s easy to become caught up with the responsibilities and work that make up college, you have to take the time to focus on your mental health.
“It’s so much more important than people think,” Baroutjian wrote in an email. “And unlike your math homework, it’s not something you can [put off].”
Similarly, Lucchini said that focusing on personal growth and learning to be happy with yourself isn’t easy, but she is optimistic that the event will have a positive impact on efforts to do so.
“Self-love is tough to achieve,” Lucchini wrote in an email. “An event like ours won’t make it happen overnight, but it can open your mind to the potential of it happening.”
The event will be held in the University Union Undergrounds on Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.