When you think of coffee in Oxford, you think of Kofenya– the black walls and great coffee are a local staple. Students and Oxford locals go religiously to grab their cup of joe, curl up with a good book or study for hours for their next exam.
This makes Kofenya the perfect place for student organizations to host off-campus events meant for relaxing and forgetting about the homework piling up in classes. One example was this year’s Cold Snap, an event hosted by Redhawk Radio, Miami’s online radio station. The event brings musicians and artists together for an evening of creative celebration.
“Hosting something in Kofenya has a different vibe than hosting something in Armstrong,” said senior Hannah Williams, event coordinator for Redhawk Radio. “I feel like there is a lot of pressure to appeal to Miami when you’re hosting something on campus.”
The students at Cold Snap are sipping coffee, listening intently or laughing with their friends. They are relaxing and chilling out. The event fits the venue perfectly.
“Kofenya has sort of a quirky, local vibe and I think the radio station is sort of a quirky organization,” Williams said.
At Redhawk Radio, any student can have a time slot on the air to say, do or play whatever they please. Many students use it as a creative outlet, where they play unique music that they love.
Cold Snap brought that air of unique creativity into the real world. The music was good for socializing or sitting peacefully in the background.
This Cold Snap was a little different because it was the first time RedHawk Radio teamed up with Inklings, Miami’s main literary arts magazine. There is a lot of overlap in the membership of the two organizations.
“We feel like we both are places at Miami where people passionate about the arts gather and find community,” said Emma Shibley, Editor of Inklings. “And we both are kind of alternative scenes in Oxford.”
Shibley is also a barista at Kofenya.
“It’s been one of Kofenya’s goals since the very beginning to be a place that promotes and welcomes local artists,” Shibley said. “And that has bloomed beyond visual artists to include musicians and bands, poetry readings and open mic nights.”
Williams said RedHawk Radio and Inklings have been planning the event since the first day of the semester. First, they began looking for smaller, lesser-known bands with acoustic, laid-back sets.
The night began with Boon, a soft folk band from Philadelphia, who played music perfect for staying in and listening on rainy days. Their set created the eclectic, alternative ambience desired by RedHawk Radio and Inklings.
Next was Sylmar, a local Cincinnati band with a goofy, free-spirited lead singer. Their indie rock dripped with heavy bass. Dancing around and cranking up the volume, they enhanced the excitement in the room and created a buzz of breezy, carefree energy.
Finally, Captain Redbeard and the S.S. Friendship took to the stage. The only member present, a single beardless guy named Gage Volbert sang about ex-girlfriends and awkward situations. Harold Rogers, a RedHawk Radio and Inklings member, described the lyrical brilliance of Captain Redbeard as, “the music equivalent of telling someone ‘I’m fine’ when you’re really not.” Volbert said that he was claiming that as his new tagline.
In between sets, members of Inklings read poetry. Shibley read a poem that was a combination of Tinder profiles and weather phrases, written by Kinsey Cantrell, a Miami alum who was on staff at Inklings during her time on campus.
In the corner sat a long table filled with drawing paper, charcoal, paint, construction paper, old magazines, glue and scissors. The goal was to create a communal space for people to make art together. Students who crafted will have their artwork featured in the fall 2018 issue of Inklings.