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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Student Activities Programming Board hosts mask making event for Midwinter Ball

On Friday, Feb. 1, dozens of students filtered in and out of an upper Sayles classroom, stocked with paint and sponge brushes, sticky gemstones and an ombre of markers to decorate pre-cut masks for the Midwinter Ball. In this mainstay of Carleton’s annual campus traditions, students talked about the upcoming dance, what they were wearing and what songs they wanted to hear. Studio art majors sat side by side with STEM friends, coming together over Crayola and cardstock. 

The CSA funded the plethora of craft materials, but the event’s organizers nevertheless hope to provide a wider variety of types of masks and decorations in the future. 

The event is the result of an effort by a Student Activities Programming Board (SAPB) organizer, Gideon Antwi ’26. On the board, he serves as one of the chairs of music and dance — they work to support the CSA and a variety of other campus organizations. 

Through this event, Antwi worked to extend the Ball from beyond the three hours that it runs. During his first year, the Midwinter Ball, he said, “just happened. I didn’t know what was going on, but one day I got the wristband in my mailbox.” This year, however, he organized this event to give people a taste of the theme, but also to kick off the midterm break, to punctuate how special the ball is for Carleton. 

“[Midwinter Ball] happens every year,” Antwi explained. He wondered why the campus does not accompany it with more activities for students to get excited about. He said he hopes that other events — such as Sproncert — could embrace their crafting potential. 

More than anything, Antwi said, it’s about providing “a space for people to come together,” to just “be creative.” He added that “if you’re not in the humanities or the arts, you don’t have those opportunities to be creative.” Antwi was inspired by paint and sips he had attended — they created a low stakes, social environment to create art. 

He explained that these past two years are the upswing from COVID-19, in which in-person activities — from crafting to dancing — were discouraged. Now, as the campus atmosphere has changed since peak-pandemic times, “people want to be more involved, to do more things.”

This crafting mask-making event illuminated the ball by creating a “build up” for it, generating enthusiasm. By doing so, it made the ball all the more meaningful. 

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