"The American Culture Club at Transilvania University aims to inform and inspire the Brasov community about everything American! We hold one or two events every month. Most of our larger events revolve around famous American holidays, including Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Martin Luther King Day. We threw a great Halloween costume party and held a historical re-enactment of the "real" Thanksgiving (a story not often told). We also screen films, hold presentations and debates, and invite guest speakers from around the country.
Our most recent large event was a resounding success. We organized a student art exhibition as a donation drive for a local charity, FAST Romania. FAST is a social and youth development non-profit that works on capacity-building projects in the local Rroma communities.
A founding member of the ACC, Ruxi Oprica, volunteers there, and since October I've been working with them as well. This event wasn't specifically "American", but it certainly helped the ACC build its reputation in Brasov.
For the event, we invited student artists to display their artwork and found ourselves surrounded by paintings and drawings, photography, graphic design, jewelry, and handicrafts. From a hasty yet thorough advertising campaign, we gathered a remarkably large crowd in the attic of the English Cultural Center. Ruxi gave a powerful presentation on FAST and the Rroma situation around Brasov, we introduced members of FAST who spoke about volunteer options, and then we unleashed the crowd. Students and professionals (including UT faculty) mingled, enjoying live music, admiring the artwork lining the room, and exercising their creativity on our interactive mural project. Each student artist had agreed to "sell" their pieces for donation, including a table full of artwork made by children from FAST's youth education project. After only two hours, we raised a grand total of 424 RON for FAST! Everyone was thrilled, as one student had earlier remarked, "people don't donate money here...
On a personal note, it was such a profound pleasure to see a community coming together not just for art, which is important in its own right, but to support a social development non-profit. Civil society is growing in Romania, slowly but surely, and this sense of solidarity has incredible potential to positively shape the future. I hope our audience left the art exhibit inspired and thoughtful, because I certainly did. After witnessing how much people enjoyed themselves, I'm positive that the ACC can plan and deliver a similar event later in the year. This spring, the Brasov community will bloom... all we need to do is plant the seed!"
My fulbright experience
Students at the advising center
- RomericanJourney - by Damaris Lois Bangean
- A Most Unexpected Year - by Melanie Shoffner
- Eric Fretz
- Polar Bear in the Balkans - by David Jimenez
- Romaniadventure - by Anna Sherod
- Romania plus Hannah equals a blog - by Hannah Wolf
- A Palette for Thought - by Elijah Ferbrache
- A Year in Romania - by Anne Murray
- Lauren Hermele
- Katelyn Arlene Browher