by Elise Goitia '18
When recent grad Liliana Coelho '17 spearheaded a team for Knox's StartUp Term, an academic immersive term that provides knowledge of the entrepreneurial process, she didn't know the project would grow into a long-term program for dancers, musicians, and artists alike.
"Emily Trevor '17, Summer Fuji '18, Larisha Dakhal '18 and Bridget McCarthy '18, and I created Bluebrick Collective," said Coelho. "We call ourselves 'the creativity incubator' which means to us, 'Come with your ideas, or come and find ideas.'"
With the help of Mark Holmes, associate professor of art, Coelho and her team were able to move Bluebrick Collective into The Box, Holmes' space located in a refurbished industrial building in downtown Galesburg. Since then, The Box has been home to performances, workshops, meetings, and "pop-up markets."
"We're acting as facilitators for young and upcoming artists," said Coelho. "I wanted to bring together a community through creativity. Having a space like Bluebrick politically, socially, and environmentally allows us to come together where we can do something."
"Something an alumna said to me once was, 'If you feel really prepared and ready, you've waited too long,'" she commented. "If you're feeling uneasy, excited, and nervous, then it's time. There's no reason not to step into all that you can make."
Some other events that Bluebrick has offered so far include creative writing groups, a comedy club, dance classes, and letterpress and brush lettering workshops. It also currently houses Knox's zine library collection for anybody to check out or read.
StartUp Term, said Coelho, provided Bluebrick with the foundation for the business plan and the brainwork research behind the project by offering the knowledge to sustain a business financially and managerially.
"StartUp Term was so necessary to get us started," said Coelho. "I don't know where else you have that opportunity besides a place like Knox. Because Knox is on the trimester system, it allows for immense flexibility and possibility. Having different immersive terms lets students really think about their academic and professional goals."
Coelho, a self-designed major in sustainable social change with a double minor in studio art and social justice dialogue, will remain in Galesburg as a part of the Post-Baccalaureate Fellowship Program to work for Knox's Green Oaks Program.
"Knox's immersive terms provide a unique experience—you go deep," she said. "You can go into the forest at Green Oaks, or you go into the office of StartUp Term. It's important to be immersed in what you're interested in studying. To have 10 weeks dedicated to a project that I personally am really passionate about, and continue that project, has been amazing."