Lydia’s Lounge features student talent

Lydia’s Lounge has been used for a variety of student activities over the years, but the space may gain a permanent identity this semester with the new Lydia’s Lounge Acoustic Series.

The series will feature two student hour-long performances each month in University Hall during day time hours in hopes of drawing students to the lounge, Graduate Assistant of the Student Activities Office Kyle Malinowski said.

The program was created by Malinowski to help give the lounge an identity, he said.

“Lydia’s Lounge was originally the U-Hall cafeteria, then was vacant for a few years and then used by an orchestra,” he said. “But ever since it was converted six years ago, it has struggled to have an identity. This acoustic series will help generate foot traffic [for Lydia’s] and give it a coffee house feel.”

Any student interested in performing for the series is eligible, Malinowski said.

“Our vision for this project is for students to perform either music, spoken word or [anything they choose] during lunch time hours on a Monday through Friday weekday,” he said. “We are willing to allow you to do multiple events, and multiple people can participate with you.”

Malinowski said he is working with Dining Services to provide more options for students while they listen to the performers. The lounge currently offers daily soups, hot sandwiches and beverages, along with Provisions on Demand (P.O.D.) Market selections.

The first performer of the acoustic series is senior mechanical engineering major Kyle Prader, who will perform at noon on Feb. 22. Prader said he will play a variety of songs ranging from country to 70s soft rock on guitar.

“I think this program was a great idea to get musicians and music lovers together to enjoy the coffee shop-like venue of Lydia’s Lounge,” he said. “… [It’s] not only a great atmosphere to relax with friends, but is also an even greater atmosphere for a musician to perform in.”

Performers will be compensated for their time, Malinowski said. Each artist will be paid a flat rate of $25 for a half hour to an hour long performance. Students are then responsible for advertising, he said.

“In addition to payment and coordination of the space, the major burden for advertisement and promotion and getting people to your show will be uniquely up to you,” Malinowski said. “It is a great opportunity, and a way to show your talents to the Bradley community.”

Malinowski also said that if the program becomes more popular, the series will add more than the two performers per month to the schedule.

Prader said the acoustic series will help Lydia’s Lounge gain popularity among students.

“I think the program was very well thought-out to get Lydia’s Lounge the attention and business it deserves [and will bring] an under-appreciated part of Bradley’s student culture to the limelight,” he said. “I look forward to performing and watching other performers in the future.”

Malinowski said he hopes the program will generate a distinct personality for Lydia’s Lounge.

“I’m not expecting blockbuster crowds at first,” he said. “Our first step is to make Lydia’s Lounge a more desirable service for people and a good complement to U-Hall.”

Students interested in performing for the acoustic series can contact Tom Coy at tcoy@fsmail.bradley.edu. An application and short audition are required to perform.