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Student Creates Organization of Artists with Focus on Interdisciplinary Works

SiHK Brothers aim to represent “Heart of Art” at Meadows

SiHK Brothers is an organization of artists committed to creating interdisciplinary opportunities for artists locally and around the world. SiHK stands for “The Society of Individuality, Honor & Knowledge.” Adam A. Anderson, SiHK Brothers’ president and CEO, brought the organization to Meadows after its 2009 founding at his high school, Dreyfoos School of the Arts, in West Palm Beach, Fla. Anderson started the organization with his best friends Antony T. Clarke, who serves as vice president and director of operations, and Vinh Phu Pham, vice president and director of fine arts.

In high school, SiHK was created for the purpose of putting a title to the art that Anderson and his friends were crafting already. In order to both demonstrate this passion for creating and get more of Dreyfoos’s campus involved in an artistic movement, SiHK Brothers wrote a show for Black History Month that incorporated various talents in theatre and music and invited anyone with artistic interest to participate. The show accepted donations in lieu of admission, and all money raised was donated to charity.

Once high school ended for the artists and they parted ways, it became difficult for SiHK to produce any more shows. For the first year that the SiHK Brothers were apart, the organization was at a standstill.

“We lost our foundation,” said Anderson, “but I couldn’t just watch it disappear. ‘We built this brotherhood,’ I told the other guys. I wasn’t going to let it die.”

SiHK BrothersSo, when the SiHK Brothers reunited over winter break in 2009, they produced a music album and created a website.

“We decided we needed to make something that people felt compelled to look at,” Anderson recalled. “We also realized we didn’t have a clearly articulated purpose yet; there was no reason for people to join us in our movement.”

During summer 2010, the movement gained momentum. The SiHK Brothers wrote a purpose statement and brainstormed ideas for furthering the organization’s cause. Aware that SMU Meadows encourages its students to “start a movement” by exploring, innovating and creating, Anderson decided that he really wanted to integrate SiHK into Meadows, and as a first effort made plans to co-produce a show with fellow theatre student and friend Jeffrey Moffitt, an active participant in SMU Student Theatre (SMUST).

What started out as a simple idea turned into a successful reality: a production of Metamorphoses, a play by Mary Zimmerman, which ran for five well-attended nights in the Bob Hope Lobby of the Owen Arts Center in November 2010. Students from all over campus had an overwhelmingly positive response to the first SiHK production at the school.

After Metamorphoses ended, Anderson met actor and singer Akron Watson, who is currently acting in To Kill A Mockingbird at the Dallas Theater Center. Watson and Anderson were rehearsing together in The Shipment at the Undermain Theatre. Watson was struck by the idea of SiHK Brothers and proposed a musical collaboration with Anderson.

“He asked if he could write music with us in exchange for being a part of the movement,” said Anderson. “I was ecstatic; he’s so experienced and he really knows his way around.”

Meanwhile, back in Florida, Clarke worked on his camera and PhotoShop skills, while Pham researched photography, visual arts and linguistics in order to increase the quality of work that SiHK produced. During summer 2011, SiHK Brothers’ high school mentor, Garry Q. Lewis, introduced them to his brother, public relations consultant Bruce Lewis, president and CEO of L.B. Limited & Associates, Inc. Lewis immediately took to the idea of SiHK Brothers and offered to be their business advisor for two years for free.

“He really invested himself in our company,” Anderson said. “He advised us on how to structure our business. It was revitalizing.”

In fall 2011, Anderson came back to Meadows with his eyes open to opportunity. He has widened the network of people involved in SiHK on campus, and is currently working with them every Sunday and Monday to develop a new, original stage production titled This Way to Freedom.

“Right now we have people from every performing aspect of Meadows interested and involved in our organization,” said Anderson. “We have dancers, actors and musicians getting together to make art.”

SiHK is preparing to premiere this interdisciplinary show February 16-19, 2012. Anyone interested in participating or contributing ideas can go to the green room in the basement of Owen Arts Center on Sundays between 3 and 5 p.m. or on Mondays between 6 and 8 p.m. When asked what room SiHK meets in, Anderson responded, “It’s always a different room. Just listen for the music – you’ll find us where you find it.”

Look for the “heart of art” symbol (found at www.sihkbrothers.com) around campus to see what programs and events SiHK is sponsoring.

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