Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer
Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer
What do Cyndi Lauper, Sharon Osbourne, Pierce Brosnan (aka James Fucking Bond) and the University of Colorado’s Program Council all have in common?
Admittedly not much.
But they are all 64 and still as kick-ass as ever.
Since its beginnings in 1953, Program Council has been bringing the university live entertainment, film screenings and more. Better yet, they’ve prided themselves on having a keen eye for artists that are, as current director Ari Kononov put it, pre-“hype-wave.”
Whether it was The Who or The Grateful Dead, back in the ’70s and ’80s, or Chance the Rapper in 2014, Program Council finds artists just entering their prime.
Now with a more stable budget and better resources, folks at Program Council are “attempting to bring artists of current equal fame to our campus prior to their prime era of fame and success,” Kononov explains.
As Kononov sees it, “college students are the best demographic to target in terms of being up to date with what music is about to blow up.” And with everyone on staff being a college student themselves, it’s easy for Program Council to remain as connected to their audience as ever. As Kononov puts it, plenty of students don’t realize “other students are putting on these events themselves.”
For those involved, Program Council offers real-world experience. Whether it’s “managing budgets and venues, booking talent, (or) building connects in (the) industry,” Kononov says, the employees at Program Council are “experiencing a taste of the high-pressure, high-reward environment that comes with working in entertainment full-time.”
Ultimately, that’s what makes it works. Students working hard to bring other students together for a good time in a safe and secure environment.
This year’s Welcomefest, held last Saturday, featured D.R.A.M., a rapper, singer and producer best known for his Lil Yachty collaboration “Broccoli.” Boulder-based DJ duo MTNMEN, rapper Noname and musician Vanic also brought their considerable talents to Farrand Field.
Welcomefest may be one of Program Council’s biggest events, but there’s more to come. Keep your eye on Program Council all year — they’ve set their goals high for the level of entertainment they hope to provide.
If you’re ready to join the team, leave Wednesday nights free. Every week at 6 p.m. in the Program Council office (UMC 401), a group of like-minded folks will gather to find out how they can help. No matter if its marketing an upcoming event or applying for their production and security teams, you’ll be entering into this entertainment-driven community.
Maybe you’re not ready for the commitment. You can still up the ante by becoming a Gold List member ( programcouncil.com/membership). Folks who sign up will get discounted tickets, front-of-the-line access and chances to win free merchandise.
At the very least, get cyber connected. Via Facebook ( facebook.com/programcouncil) and Twitter ( twitter.com/programcouncil), Program Council teases to its upcoming events and generally keeps you in the know as far as what they’re cooking up.