Arts & Entertainment

Arts & Entertainment

La La Land Is Not As Great As Your Friends Say It Is

The new film La La Land (2016), which came out this past Christmas, has emerged as the most talked about film this winter. Met with 14 Academy Award nominations, it ties with All About Eve (1950) and Titanic (1997) for the most nominations received by a single film. Additionally, it won all 7 Golden Globe categories that it was nominated for, including Best Motion Picture for a Musical or Comedy, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

After learning all of this and hearing much praise from family and friends, I decided to watch it for myself. Perhaps it was too hyped up, or maybe people just don’t have the same standard for filmmaking as me, but after finishing the film, I was unpleasantly displeased. I thought to myself, “Maybe I just don’t get it,” but I quickly shook the thought.

I grew up watching every musical known to man with my grandmother—Singing in the Rain, Chicago, The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, Grease, West Side Story, etc. I don’t mean to brag, but I’d say I’m pretty well versed in the art of watching and enjoying musicals. So how could it possibly be that I didn’t like the very film that beat out Deadpool for Best Motion Picture?

Stansbury finds solace in spending time with clay

Photo courtesy of Bradley Darling

Louis Armstrong’s “Hello Dolly” vibrates throughout the room. I am in a state of complete tranquility. My hands are wet with clay. I can feel the soft, grainy texture between my fingertips, almost as if I have regressed back to my childhood, playing in the mud pit, throwing myself about in the clay without a care in the world.

This is the best part of my day: coming into the art room in the evening, spending hours completely engrossed in my own little world.

My apron is chalked with clay dust, my pink Vans have remnants of the clay that splatters around as I put my hands to work. What will I make today? I will let the clay decide.

Most often, I don’t begin throwing with much of a plan in mind. My best work has always come from just letting my hands and the clay move freely in a symbiotic relationship. All I need are my two most important instruments, my left and right hands.

I have created vessels of all types and many awkward shapes that cannot be identified. I love to bask in the relaxation that comes with being in the art room. I love the quiet environment, the freedom that I have to express myself in any way that I want.

The finished product is always the best part of the process. Knowing that I put everything I had into a piece of work really makes my creations important.

I get excited to see it come out of the kiln: fingers crossed that the glaze on the final product looks good! I always peer into the kiln, still hot from the firing, grinning from ear to ear, ready to see what I have created.

For some people, art is intimidating. Some people ask, “We’re at business school, why should I waste my time in the art room?” Consider this: When else do you have an excuse purposefully cover yourself in clay? When else do you have an opportunity to enter a world where there are only two actors: just you and the wheel?

Nothing else matters when you are throwing. For me, wheel throwing and ceramics is an escape. It is a place I can go to get away from all of the stress of college schoolwork, homesickness, and frustration.

Today, I will make a bowl. Today, I will find my escape.


Museum of Fine Arts unveils #mfaNOW

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has revealed their #mfaNOW program, which showcases recent acquisitions to their Linde
Family Wing for Contemporary Art and hosts free all-night parties. The all-night parties will feature food trucks, lawn games, live music, DJ’s, art making, artist demonstrations, and
programming such as star gazing in the MFA’s beautiful courtyard and nighttime jogs through Boston. The next event will be the MFA Overnight: College Edition and will take place
on October 14-15 from 9:00pm to 9:00am. Guests can come and go as they please.

The recent installations, “Political Intent” and “Beyond Limits,” are powerful collections of contemporary art that make statements about today’s society. “Political Intent” explores tensions from slavery, the subject of mosques and Islam, and complex identities such as those in the LGBTQ community. “Beyond Limits” houses many abstract works that
challenge traditional interpretations of line, color and form. Andy Warhol’s Red Disaster (1963, 1985) shows a repeating electric chair on a red background, commenting on the power of media and how we have become accustomed to gruesome images in everyday life.

“UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991-2015” showcases an artist designated by the Los Angeles Times as “the visual poet laureate of the Internet age.” Stark’s imaginative mind examines the world in a way relatable to the college students of today. The exhibition includes such pieces as Cat Videos and Stark’s “chorus girl” in A Torment of Follies (2008), in which a girl’s dress is made up of an optical illusion. One particularly striking piece is a video installation set to a West Coast gangsta rap soundtrack and
features images such Tupac and Renaissance paintings. The piece is called Bobby Jesus’s Alma Mater b/w Reading the Book of David and/or Paying Attention is Free (2013). Even
the name is jumbled and chaotic.

Attendees of the #mfaNOW overnightevents will have a unique opportunity to see Christian Marclay’s The Clock (2010) at
night. The video masterpiece took three years of research and editing to compile and features thousands of bits from television and film history over a 24-hour period. During any time
of day, The Clock displays the accurate time on screen in a section from a show or movie. It becomes an actual timepiece and blurs the line between the screen and reality. Guests have
been known to sit for hours watching The Clock, in an intimate examination of media.

As always, Babson College students can enter the MFA on any day for free by presenting their student ID card, but be sure not to miss the amazing events that will be taking place during
#mfaNOW. A schedule is provided below and more information can be found at:

mfaNOW Overnight: College Edition
9 pm, Friday, October 14, to 9 am, Saturday, October 15, 2016
mfaNOW Overnight: State of the Party
9 pm, Friday, November 4, to 9 am, Saturday, November 5, 2016
mfaNOW Overnight: Last Call
9 pm, Friday, December 9, to 9 am, Saturday, December 10, 2016

Jamie Kent: Musician and Entrepreneur

Jamie Kent, Babson Alum ‘09, shared his experience about entrepreneurship in the music industry during his visit to Babson on September 30, 2016.

On the evening of Friday, September 30th, all the seats of Sorenson Theater, from the front row to the very back, were empty.

A strange sight to see, considering cheerful guitar chords, lively drumbeats and a rich throaty voice, dripping with the sweet country twangs of Nashville, floated throughout the room. However, if one looked a little closer, one would see audience members seated at different round tables on the stage itself, with nostalgic tablecloth and big bowls of Chex Mix, creating an old-timey Southern bar feel. Patrons sat back in their chairs, looking up at the musicians, with an atmosphere replicating the surrounding music: homey and intimate.

That intimacy was cultivated in front of their eyes by guest musician, entrepreneur, consultant and Babson alumni, Jamie Kent (BA ‘09). The New Hampshire native, but now Nashville resident, had spent the Friday at Babson, with a business conversation in the afternoon discussing the immersion of entrepreneurship in the music industry, followed by an evening concert showcasing his latest songs.

Kent’s itinerary for the day seemed to embody Babson wholly with its ideals of combining passion with business to generate that “social and economic value” — which is exactly what Kent wanted when he chose Babson College over Berklee School of Music for his undergraduate career.

When discussing how his Babson roots influenced his career and life path today, Kent noted two stories: Len Green’s Ultimate Entrepreneurial Challenge class and his summer sampling beer.

“The biggest thing people have a hard time with is that in order to make things happen, you need sales. That’s what being a musician is at its core, and doing that at its core means being able to sell yourself, in that case being able to sell your sponsors.”

Kent explained further, “And I learned at Babson, specifically in Len Green’s class: the Ultimate Entrepreneurial Challenge. He put us in groups of five and told us each group had to feed the entire class of 50, and then quickly added: ‘I hope you don’t have to pay for it.’ It was like this crucial moment, this change of mindset and thought of  ‘Okay, how can we get someone else to pay for what we have to do?’ So that was this eye-opening thing for me, and then the next summer I figured out how to get sponsored to go across the country and sample beer.”

Kent described his summer. saying: “I wrote about that and found a magazine to publish it, and they paid for our gas. Then, we got Pullman to sponsor it, and we got some camping gear; it was just me and another Babson student, and we did it for a whole summer. So now I’ve sort of taken those concepts and what I’ve learned throughout Babson, and applied it to my own music. As an independent artist, I have my own kind of independent label that I put stuff out on, but in order to have the reach that a bigger company would have, I partner with other musicians and community members.”

These partnerships come in the many shapes and forms of brand endorsements, consulting for other musicians, and utilizing his innovative fan base that was inspired by a research project Kent completed in his Babson days.

“I was doing a lot of research at the time on cooperatives and collectives as a different means of doing business and a different exit strategy. A lot of people talk about going public or selling their company, but making a co-op is also a really cool thing because it gives ownership back to the people and the employees.”

He continued, “So I thought, how can I do that in music? Cooperatives have a lot of rules involved, but collectives don’t, so I started this thing called The Collective in which people could invest in my career from the very beginning. This allowed me to jump right into working as a musician full-time by playing and building shows, which brought me to a level where I was making enough money from shows.”

“You don’t usually do that. A lot of the time musicians get stuck in this Catch-22 of wanting to be a full-time musician but not being able to afford it, so they get a job waiting tables, bartending, to the point where they never really become a full-time musician. And when you do something full-time, you get better at it than everyone else. That kind 10,000 hours thing. So The Collective allowed me to do just that, and allowed my fans in the beginning to have a say and voice in what I do. So they actually voted on all the decisions I’ve made including picking all my album artwork, what singles should be off record, that sort of thing.”

But despite how smooth it all sounded, Kent notes it wasn’t that easy. Especially his decision of choosing the entrepreneurial road over the other Babson-esque end of the platform of corporate Fortune 500/“Big Four” life. One of the songs he wrote around graduation, “Isabella” details that tough decision through a theoretical situation of a pretty gal that works in the cubicle next door that he asks out for coffee, the “road not taken” sort of song.

But besides from being that guy going into Boston on the weekends to record his own songs, Kent otherwise lived a “normal” Babson college kid life. He founded Green Housing, Babson’s first sustainable-focused housing that was just recently disbanded; he hosted SODAs (The Nineties was the theme); and The Babson Free Press even got a photo from him to prove it.

Overall Babson’s education, opportunities and experiences offered have been focal parts in bringing Kent to where he is today. His advice to current Babson students who are also nervous about taking that step to really pursue one’s passion as a career is:

“Do it. If you do what you love you’ll find a way to make it happen. Everyone at Babson is given an unique education that a lot of people don’t get. And that makes you able to turn your passion into a job. It’s hard work, but when you do what you love, it doesn’t feel like hard work. And if you fail, at least you’ve tried. Right now is the ideal time; you don’t have kids, you’re not married, you’re at the perfect life point to just take a shot, make it happen and use that entrepreneurial mindset to do it.”

“Also utilize the Babson alumni network! It’s a small group of people, but it has been so helpful for me, and everyone truly wants to help each other succeed. Get coffee with them, pick their brain. Just don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Well in that case, Babson students, do try to get over the intimidating amount of press, music, albums, and success surrounding Mr. Jamie Kent himself, and just reach out. Maybe he’ll give business tips, maybe he’ll serenade you, either way… It’s a win-win.

By: Lydia Stetson ’19

 Jamie Kent, Babson Alum ‘09, shared his experience about entrepreneurship in the music industry during his visit to Babson on September 30, 2016.
Jamie Kent, Babson Alum ‘09, shared his experience about entrepreneurship in the music industry during his visit to Babson on September 30, 2016.

Babson Boulders: The Inside Scoop

What might a man who accused gravity of murder think is a good idea? Carve a bunch of boulders in the middle of the woods with inspirational phrases! Most Babson students know of the famed Babson Boulders, but very few actually make the 45-minute trek to Gloucester to go see these interesting creations. For those of you who are unfamiliar, the Babson Boulders were commissioned by Roger Babson during the Great Depression to help unemployed stonecutters. What a guy; he was surely thinking about SEERS when he set up this venture. 80 years later the boulders still stand, and carry with them some aspects that highlight the genius of Roger Babson. For example, a lot of the boulders are pretty inspirational with things like “Be True” and “Integrity” (shoutout to class of 2020). However, as touching as all of that is, Roger did not make it easy to get to his stone etched legacy. There are a lot of things that the sensible Babson student would have done that the people who planned the trails did not; they must have been done by a Bentley student. This is so profound that FREEP has compiled a list of things that you should NOT do when you go on your rock hunt:

  1. DO NOT follow the entire “Babson Boulder Loop,” there are surprisingly few boulders on that trail: go figure. Get yourself a map, put on your big college kid pants, and go find them yourself.
  2. DO NOT be fooled, there are a million boulders in the area. You will probably need to be institutionalized if you seriously try to check each one. There will be tiny paths to most of them, but there is a fair chance that you’ll get disoriented. Utilize the buddy system!
  3. DO NOT miss the Babson Reservoir. It is far more majestic than some boulders. Be sure to take a picture on the cliff that overlooks the water; a guaranteed PR for likes when you put it on Instagram.
  4. DO NOT wear uncomfortable shoes. A lot of the trails are made up of uneven rocks and you will be hiking a fair amount. God forbid you roll an ankle and your fellow beavers have to drag you out of there.
  5. DO NOT miss your class boulder; you are paying 65 grand a year for it.

Overall, the Babson Boulder hunt can really be something special. It will provide time to relax, be more in tune with nature, and see what all the fuss is about with these boulders. Too many people just write them off as just some rocks, when really they symbolize so much more than just that. They are the values that all of us, no matter our background, should hold dear and follow to become better Babson community members as well as members of the global community. babson-boulder-photo-by-jacob-allread