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The Statesman


Stony Brook’s craft night mania aims to relax students

The Craft Center's Craft Center Mania offered jewelry-making, wood burning and more. (Photo: Chelsea Katz)
The Craft Center’s Craft Center Mania offered jewelry-making, wood burning and more. (Photo: Chelsea Katz)

Buttons were made, fabric was cut and paint was dropping at Stony Brook University’s Craft Night Mania on Tuesday Sept. 10.

The event was free for both undergraduate and graduate students and took place at the Stony Brook Union between 6:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Students could create an array of custom jewelry ranging from buttons to earrings. There was also wood burning and sun catcher painting available.

“The craft events are such a good place to meet people,” senior Angela Delise said. “It’s not intimidating because we’re all acting like kids!”

There were fifteen tables where students could sit and do their crafts. The different tables included: Sun Catcher, Beading, Foam crafts, Color Your Owns, Wood Burning, Button making, Scratch arts and Jewelry making.

Students and staff agreed these craft nights, held every Tuesday, are a great way for students to have fun, chill out and relieve stress from classes.

Janice Costanzo, the coordinator for the Craft Center and SAC Art Gallery, encourages students to come down to the events, create some crafts, hang out and just have fun.

“Students can relax, unwind and forget their troubles,” she said. “You concentrate on what you’re doing, block everything out and it really clears your head.”

As the night progressed, more and more students came down to Craft Night Mania. At some points there were around 50 students coloring, painting and creating jewelry. There were plenty of supplies for everyone to participate at each table.

Food was also served at Craft Mania and ranged from chips and cookies to carrot sticks and lollipops.

When asked about where the Craft Center gets their funding, Costanzo said, “Most funding comes from our for-pay classes.” These classes can include students, but also Stony Brook staff and members from the community. Having the for-pay classes helps purchase art supplies, pay the student-staff salaries, and pay for improvements as well as shows.

Many students are glad that this event is free and hope to see it continue.

The Craft Center’s primary focus is to make students happy. Before they leave, students are asked to fill out a survey that asks what they liked, did not like and how the staff could improve the crafts.  They are very concerned with making sure the students enjoy themselves and want to come back with their friends.

“We love Craft Night-it’s fantastic,” senior Amanda Demenscu said. “My friends and I have been coming since we were freshmen. It’s one of our favorite things to do.”

The Craft Center also has numerous fundraisers throughout the semester for various causes. For one fundraiser, stuffed animals were donated, then decorated and offered for sale. The proceeds went towards the children’s hospital and about $350 was donated, according to Kate Schwarting. Schwarting started out as an intern at the Craft Center and now she is a student-staff member and event coordinator.

Costanzo says that for this semester, there are several fundraisers in the working.

“Overall, our events are a success. In general, people are happy because we have a variety and something for everyone,” Schwarting said.

There are many methods to get the word out about Craft Night.  Facebook, Pinterest, SB Life, fliers and posters are just some of the techniques used in order to get students to attend.  Students said the Stony Brook Student Life emails also help attract them to this event.

There was a general consensus that Craft Night helps students relax, have fun and is important. Creating crafts is just an enjoyable activity and helps get rid of stress.

“It’s important for students to support their arts. It’s a creative outlet that is a part of our culture,” Costanzo concluded.

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