I have seen more artistic performances at Grinnell than I had ever seen before I started college. As a first-year, I was somewhat skeptical of the exciting nightlife that so many Grinnell students assured me existed. However, after a couple of weekends of concerts with bands who would never have come to my hometown, movies that only opened in major cities, and live theater (often produced by students) – all for free – I was convinced.
There are so many things to do at Grinnell on the weekends that I usually end up missing at least one thing that I would have loved to do, for homework and sleep's sake. Otherwise, I would try to attend everything that happens each weekend, especially because there are such a variety of activities. In a typical weekend, I usually go to a showcase or student performance (dance, theater, or performance art), a movie, and at least one of the concerts (there tend to be about three on campus a week). Sometimes the bands are big name enough that you see professors at the show!
The coolest part of Grinnell's excellent weekend activities are how many of them are student run. The concerts committee – part of the Student Government Association – has significant discretion to plan the shows on campus (they have control over their budget, venues, and a student has the final say in which bands are chosen). The films committee is the same way – the films brought to campus each semester vary based on the personality of the person who is running the committee (with some blockbuster exceptions). This student power is a reflection of the Grinnell community: students have incredible power – and support – to bring weekend programming to campus that everyone can enjoy.