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Penn's Institute of Contemporary Art will host its annual ICA After Dark celebration on April 14. Credit: Oscar Vasquez

Penn's Institute of Contemporary Art is hosting its annual ICA After Dark celebration on April 14 as part of its Student Week initiative. 

The student-takeover event, presented by the ICA Student Board, begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. The celebration revolves around the theme “Glow Up” and will feature tote bag screen printing, glow in the dark face paint, and student DJs. 

Founded in 1963, the ICA is part of Penn's campus on 36th and Sansom streets and is governed under the Office of the Provost. ICA was founded to promote under-recognized artists in art and culture. 

The ICA Student Board works with the museum staff to connect Penn and the wider Philadelphia community to contemporary art. Board members also promote the ICA’s exhibitions, engage with artists and curators, and plan public events such as After Dark. 

“Having Penn students know that they have a place here in the ICA and have a voice, where they can talk to a curator if they’re interested in that field — it’s a resource we can all use,” College first year and Marketing Committee Chair Ivanna Dudych said. 

The After Dark event will be free to all Penn students and other Philadelphia undergraduates with a student ID.

“After Dark is a great way to get students involved in the current exhibitions and to feel a sense of autonomy in the galleries where they can just be themselves in a free space, listening to music and connecting with other people in the Philly area,” College junior and Professional Development Chair Emma Poveda said. “We’d really like to see connections fostered between Penn, PAFA [Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts], Drexel, Temple, and other institutions in the area.” 

Students at the event will also have after hours access to the current exhibitions Terence Nance: Swarm and Carolyn Lazard: Long Take

“The exhibitions on view right now are of great social relevance and also explore themes of fluidity in the surrounding environment,” Poveda said. “For students to be able to enact that process within themselves in the gallery is truly special.” 

After Dark completes the events of Student Week, which is the ICA’s joint programming with student organizations on campus, including the Orgullo Latino Fashion Association Fashion Show on April 7 and Paint Night with Monolith Arts Collective on April 13. The ICA Student Board members volunteer during all these events. 

“Student Week is about bringing together students across fields of contemporary art. After Dark wraps up that conversation,” Public Engagement Project Manager and Administrative Coordinator Brittany Clottey said. 

The ICA Student Board has been planning After Dark since the start of the semester. Board members are split into three different committees: programs and outreach, marketing & communications, and professional development. Students work together to plan both external and internal events, engage with the Penn community through creative content, and converse with professionals in the field through opportunities such as the “Ask an Arts Professional” series.

“It’s been really cool to see different creatives involved that are students taking initiative, from designing the flyers to students wanting to host a printmaking workshop,” Clottey said.

The ICA Student Board hopes that Student Week will strengthen the relationship between the Penn community and ICA. 

“I live right across the street from the ICA, and I didn’t know about it until I joined [Student Board],” Dudych said. “We hope this event keeps the ICA on people’s radar.”