Interview with Maurice Windley ’19
This week, justArts spoke with Maurice Windley ’19, who is a member of the Culture X chair team.
JustArts: Tell me a bit about yourself and your role in this event.
Maurice Windley: I am on the board of the Culture X chair team. I’m one of the five members on the chair team. My particular job is to organize a lot of the volunteer work as well speaking to [Student Production Services] and [Media Technology Services] and keep that communication. And also outreach. I do a lot of outreach on to social media as well.
JA: What’s it like to organize an event with so many participants?
MW: Being able to be inside that position now as one of the organizers for Culture X this year, it’s now a position where I collaborate with four others and we try to bring as much culture diversity as possible onto the stage at once. So that translates to having various acts and various cultures as ... mostly for the benefit of [explaining] this diversity to the campus and showing that Brandies does have a very diverse group of individuals and a very diverse student base, who are willing to showcase their culture.
JA: What is Culture X doing to fully embody its 20 years of performances?
MW: While it is the 20th anniversary, we do want this one to be the largest that we could possibly make it, ...[and] showcase that the diversity that we’ve been trying to continue to have in this University. Something that the ICC does really well is having an accumulation of various cultures in one particular spot. Our goal this year is to take that as inspiration and somewhat mirror that in our performances. ... With this in mind, our showcasing of the 20th anniversary also comes into our theme this year: “From Roots to Leaves: ground in our histories.” This is the optimal time for us to go back into a lot of the history of ICC and see the culture impact that center had on students at Brandeis University.
JA: What is the significance of Culture X to the performers?
MW: I can only speak for myself since I am not a performer, but in the years I have seen Culture X, I have been an audience member for Culture X for the last three years, and now I finally got to see the work that goes into what setting up an event like this looks like. And for the performances each year I would notice that they would be super excited to be on a stage to explain what it means to their livelihood for them to other individuals, other students who may not understand these background. So it’s an opportunity for students who are close to these other students, but also to faculty members and staff members, to show a part of themselves that otherwise they would not be as easily able to.
JA: Anything else you would like to tell the readers?
MW: Culture X is in general going to be a very large production that is something that we like to continue yearly on. In order to do that, it’s important for students who have seen Culture X for the first time, students who are on the fence about seeing Culture X, or even asking questions about like where to get involved on campus — The Campus Intercultural Center at Brandeis is kept alive through students support. The only way that it’s been here this long is because students and faculty members and staff who which are dedicated to preserving culture and dedicated to having a space where different cultures can feel comfortable enough to be themselves exists.
With that in mind I would like to tell individuals who are looking forward to Culture X or are thinking about going to Culture X to know that, there are various cultures on Brandeis University campus that may not get the representation that they deserve to have, and something that Culture X can do is try to bring that to the forefront and even join hands on culture show as well. So our hope is that by doing Culture X, you get to see the variety cultures on campus and want to get involved in a lot of these events.