A lot has happened over the last few months as a result of the novel coronavirus. Schools all over the world have closed down causing an interference in the last semester or term of final year students that would have had a grand graduation ceremony in the end. Amidst these interruptions comes American singer Solange Knowles, who has partnered with Parsons School of Design via her creative agency, Saint Heron to launch ‘Here and Now’, a virtual festival that highlights the works of graduating students of Parsons.
The initiative will also give room for lectures, film screenings, performances, design workshops, and other mentorship opportunities to take place aside the showcase of graduate’s theses and fashion presentations.
“The Class of 2020 is in a unique and unexpected position,” said Jason Kass, interim dean for the School of Fashion at Parsons School of Design. “We are excited to partner with Saint Heron on a shared vision for extraordinary access and meaningful insight into our students’ work. With Here and Now, we are providing our graduating students and the creative community a space for discovery and growth.”
Solange has been a familiar figure in the school’s community in past times. In 2018, the singer was honored at the 70th Parsons Benefit that creates an opportunity to honor members of the greater design and performance community who exemplify the school’s mission while raising scholarship funds to support students throughout The New School. She not only graced the ceremony with her appearance, but also help boost the career of then-Parsons student Shanel Campbell by wearing a jumpsuit made by her.
“We look forward to working with the students over the coming weeks and helping bring attention to their hard work and unique perspective,” said the Saint Heron team in a joint statement. “As the world confronts the challenges of our current global crisis, fashion and design communities must embrace new ways to pause, evolve, and adapt. These challenges open up opportunities to expand growth in our creativity and innovation—two expressions at the core of Saint Heron as well as Parsons’ students.”
Here and Now is set to take place from June through to August 2020. American Animator Jacolby Satterwhite is onboard to create a 3D installation or “virtual environment” called Meronymy, which will host the final projects of more than 300 graduating students.