Auburn Stages Builds Community
In 2019 the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture’s (APLA) Environmental Design (ENVD) program raised funding on Tiger Giving Day for their design-build project Auburn Stages. Originally conceived as part of the program’s Music and Mental Health project, ENVD students designed lightweight and easy-to-assemble modular stages that could be used for regular performances around the Auburn University campus. Supporting the idea that music provides moments of joy in busy and stressful daily routines, Auburn Stages was developed for informal music performances where people can gather and build a feeling of community. The stages were designed and fabricated by a team of ENVD and Architecture students with input from Building Science students from the Alabama General Contractors student organization. Once constructed the stages were inaugurated with a concert in Dudley Courtyard that featured both classical music and a rock band performances.
During fall semester 2020, Auburn Stages gained momentum with the support of Auburn University’s radio station WEGL, led by live events director Dylan Basden. Dylan once heard ENVD Chair Magdalena Garmaz speak about the Auburn Stages initiative and the idea made an impression on him. As part of his responsibilities at WEGL, Dylan began to think about how to support local musicians and improve the quality of life on campus, and the result was a collaboration between APLA, Auburn Stages and WEGL.
Dylan has worked diligently to establish the groundwork required to develop a schedule of performances, find a suitable venue, and coordinate the Auburn Stages set up. To date there have been five performances hosted by the Tiger Zone at Village Dining, with bookings lined up for spring semester 2021. Performances can be enjoyed through in-person or online viewing, and there have been up to one hundred visitors in one night. The Auburn Stages project has garnered attention by providing an opportunity for human interaction through live music, and providing comfort to those trying to navigate college life during this challenging time.
“The collaboration with WEGL, under Dylan’s leadership, presents a successful campus-wide launch for the Auburn Stages, fulfilling its mission to improve the life of Auburn community, and its mental health, through continuous presence of music in our daily lives,” said ENVD Chair Magdalena Garmaz. “The main attributes of Auburn Stages – ease of assembly, portability and adaptability – work very well with varying nature of WEGL’s events. This project and this collaboration highlight Environmental Design program’s focus on making a difference in our built environment on the campus, creating connections and opportunities within and across disciplines.”
Follow Auburn Stages and WEGL on Instagram @austages and @wegl_au.