The Streetcar, Mississippi State University's student-run creative arts journal, was started in 2012. Every year since, the Streetcar's student editorial board has put out a journal filled with unique pieces created by the students of MSU.
Within The Streetcar, the student staff is split into two teams: outreach and editorial. Outreach plans and runs events, as well as receives submissions from the student body. Editorial looks at these submissions, reads through them, makes comments and decides which will make it into the final draft.
Ruby Titus, a senior at MSU doubling in French and English, has been involved with the journal since her freshman year. She currently serves as the co-editor, where she helps lead the other members of the editorial team.
"As co-editors, we kind of guide this discussion and help them learn what sort of standards we're looking for, what to look for in a good piece, what makes good writing or art versus great ... a lot of them are freshmen so we help guide them towards learning and expanding their writing palette and their art palette," Titus said.
The Streetcar is beginning to improve their critical thinking in respect to visual arts. Co-editor Riley Cutler is a senior art major at MSU who has worked hard to teach the editorial staff how to write better commentary on visual art submissions. Titus explained that Cutler teaches the editorial board to articulate their critiques and comments on the visual art pieces.
"So, she's trying to teach people how to look at a piece of art and figure out why they like it, or why they don't like it. And she brings in a lot of knowledge from her classes and tries to teach people about color theory and what makes a good piece of art versus a bad piece of art and especially in photography," Titus said.
On the other hand, the outreach team plans around two events every semester, including tabling on the Drill Field, open mic nights, peer revisions, potlucks and more. They have another open mic night planned for Nov. 17 at Nine-Twentynine Coffee Bar, their first off-campus event. There will be an arts market with students selling their projects, and the performances will happen downstairs.
Trevor Wycoff, a senior performing music major at MSU, has been working with The Streetcar since his sophomore year. He works on graphics and helps at events, as well as acting as submissions editor. Wycoff explained that The Streetcar has expanded his understanding of art while giving him a great community at the same time.
"I think The Streetcar is a really special place for anyone who likes art, especially if you have formal training, a background in it at all. It's a great place to learn, I think, that's one of the biggest things that I'll take away from The Streetcar over the time I've been, just learning what makes good writing, what makes good art, and also just like, forming a community of art is just really one of the coolest things," Wycoff said.
Eric Vivier, an associate professor of English at MSU, serves as The Streetcar's faculty director. Vivier has seen the journal grow and develop over the years. He attributes this to the hard work of the students involved.
"It's an organization that I think keeps growing and keeps and keeps changing and developing. They keep hosting new innovative events on campus, and so much of it is kind of unsung work, but the kind of heroic lifting that they do both to read all of the submissions and then putting together a journal, formatting it all, figuring out the order, figuring out the theme, figuring out the layout, all of that is a huge amount of work and it's a very few number of students who do that heavy lifting," Vivier said.
Submissions for volume 10 are due on Dec. 1, 2021 at midnight. The staff encourages all artists to submit their work for review. At the very least, students will receive free feedback on their work.