Year in review: Arts & Culture

Randi Mattox and Zoë Jennings

Arts and Culture Director Randi Mattox and Arts and Culture Editor Zoe Jennings

Editor’s note: As part of a media transparency initiative, on May 8, 2017, the Collegian spent the last day of publishing of the year telling our readers about us. You can read more about the people behind our publication in the Editor’s Blog.  

Our year as editors of the arts and culture desk was challenging and fun. We were both new editors, and the desk was full of new writers. Together, we faced the challenge of creating entertaining content for a daily newspaper.


Our main goal this year was to increase coverage of the community. While there are still a lot of interesting community-focused pieces out there to cover, we were able to publish multiple features and profiles. Some of our favorites include local band and musician features like the ones wrote about Americana singer/songwriter Mitchel Evan and heavy metal band Tierkrieger. We also enjoyed highlighting people on our campus through profiles like the one wrote about everyone’s favorite music professor, Denise Apodaca, or the one we wrote about a professor’s UFO sighting experience. Additionally, we were able to feature multiple local businesses like Knapsack, Mugs Coffee Lounge and Mary’s Mountain Cookies. Looking forward, we hope to continue this type of coverage next year and delve deeper into the stories behind popular business and community members.

As the arts and culture desk, we are tasked with covering how the community celebrates holidays. While we wrote articles and covered events for almost every holiday, our staff extensively covered Halloween. We started planning our Halloween edition way before anyone was even thinking about the holiday. Some of our favorite Halloween articles include the feature we wrote about a local Rocky Horror Picture Show troupe, an article that looked at the creepiest cold cases in Fort Collins and a feature on the haunted buildings on campus. We hope to replicate the excitement our desk had for creating a really cool Halloween edition in everything we do next year.

This year, we also worked on ensuring that we covered as many arts and culture events as possible. While we did not cover every event that we wanted to, our writers were able to attend and write about a lot of cool events on campus as around town. Some of these included the Clash of the Titans rap battle hosted by the United Men of Color, the drag shows hosted by PRISM and, more recently, the ACT Human Rights Film Festival. In the process of covering this festival, one reporter got the opportunity to interview Harry Belafonte.

Other memorable moments this year include our music review, Alec Erickson, reaching 100 music reviews and finding interesting ways to cover the presidential election from an arts and culture angle.

Next year, we hope to continue expanding our coverage of people in the community. To achieve this, we plan to keep our eyes open for the stories within our community that are not getting the attention they deserve and cover every type of person, business, and event, whether it is happy or sad. Everyone has a story to tell, and we hope to serve as the section of the newspaper that gives a platform to stories.

Arts and culture editors Zoe Jennings and Randi Mattox can be reached at or on Twitter @zoe_jennings4 and @randi_mattox.