Progressive Week concludes in Progressapalooza

Nicole Capozziello

Last weekend’s Shack-a-thon served as a transition into Progressive Week, which ran from Mon., May 14 through Sat., May 19.
This event-filled week represented 14 different campus organizations that consider themselves “progressive.” Each day of Progressive Week had a specific progressive theme with speakers, workshops, videos, and other activities complimenting the theme.
The week culminated in Progressapalooza, which took place May 16. The event featured an opportunity to help out in the garden from 8:30 to 11 a.m. and booths and activities on Main Hall Green during the afternoon.
The event was made up of many of the organizations that put on Progressive Week as well as a couple of off-campus organizations.
Animal Welfare Society, a new campus organization, sold handmade crafts and even worked with an animal shelter to bring a few dogs to their booth.
Downer Feminist Council held an ironic bake sale. Progressive Week T-shirts were also sold for $3 each. The Volunteer Center also offered the opportunity to make cards for sick children in the Fox Valley.
The local group WomenHeart, a community heart disease awareness group specializing in women, sent a representative with information. The afternoon concluded with a concert. Lawrence students Lacey Jo Benter and Tom Beneke opened for folk singer-songwriter Willy Porter.
Despite the afternoon drizzle, Porter performed a 90-minute set, engaging and entertaining the audience, which consisted of students and Appletonians.
Porter, a resident of Milwaukee, is currently working to raise money for Wisconsin Goodwill Industries.
Progressapalooza donated the proceeds of Saturday’s events to Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin. Concertgoers also enjoyed a picnic put on by the Progressive Week committee and an appearance by Congressman Steve Kagen.
As Kagen’s arrival coincided with Willy Porter’s performance, he was unable to make a speech. However, he did chat with some concertgoers and buy some T-shirts for his kids.
The idea for Progressive Week surfaced during a College Democrats weekend at Bj”rklunden in early January. Christie McCowen, a member of College Democrats, began the Progressive Week committee with the intention of bringing together around eight campus organizations that consider themselves “progressive.”
However, as enthusiasm for the event grew, more groups jumped on board, finally amounting to 14.
“I hope to get more groups involved next year but we had to start small to think big,” said McCowen, head of the Progressive Week committee.
McCowen hopes to start planning for the event much earlier next year, with the help and enthusiasm of more groups, as well as to excite more community involvement.