Musicians, spoken word artists and many others gathered in the Cape Florida Ballroom of the Student Union on Friday night to celebrate the arts and raise money for important causes.
Night of the Arts Revealed, an event hosted by the nonprofit Management Student Association at UCF, was held from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday night. Janelle Burrowes, a senior creative writing major, hosted this event as a member of the MSA. There was a $2 admission fee, and 50 percent of the profits went to the MSA while the other half went to Run for Freedom, an organization dedicated to bringing an end to human trafficking. She was inspired to raise money for them due to her familiarity with the organization.
“I have volunteered with them over spring break,” she said. “I have a passion for young adults, especially women, and just being able to give back in any way possible is always a blessing.”
Burrowes said between 60 to 70 people attended her event, which featured artistic performances. Her goal was to cater to the diversity of the audience.
“I have known these people for some time, and just the fact that I’ve known them and I trust them and their ability to perform exactly what they were going to do,” she said. “I knew it was going to be a diverse audience, so I wanted diverse people to come up. I just went off of my instincts and trusted that.”
Burrowes noted that human trafficking generates more revenue than many other well-known organizations, such as the NBA, the NFL and the NHL. This motivated her to raise money for this cause.
Jeannie Nelson, dream home executive director for Run for Freedom, also said that human trafficking is a serious problem.
“Human trafficking is a global problem. It’s second only to the drug [trafficking],” Nelson said.
Nelson said that Florida is No. 3 on the top 10 destinations in the United States for human trafficking. She said that Run for Freedom’s share of the funds raised at this event will go toward professional staffing for a dream home for victims of human trafficking.
Madison Rudkin, a senior international business major, performed at the event with Steven Alvarez, a freshman finance major. They sang Katy Perry’s “Firework,” a song Rudkin said they chose at the very last second.
“We’re actually both musicians, so we can kind of just be thrown into something,” she said. “We were very improv. About five minutes before we went on, we figured out what song we were doing.”
Rudkin said this song carried particular significance to them, not only because they were big fans of Perry’s music.
“We believe that everyone has a spark inside of them, and it’s Jesus, and it needs to be ignited,” Rudkin said.
Dionne Andrews, a junior Spanish major, attended this event as a guest. She said she found out about the event through Burrowes, who she considers a close friend.
“I really enjoyed it. [There were] a lot of different variety of people and different things, and it all just came together and worked for me,” she said. “I really enjoyed myself.”
She said the issue of human trafficking is something that resonates with her.
“It’s really something that hurts my heart,” she said. “That’s really saddening to me that people actually have no choice to have their bodies used in the wrong way and really have no freedom. It saddens my heart.”