Blacksburg Breakdown: Arts and Culture

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The Lyric Theatre, in the middle of downtown Blacksburg (courtesy of stepintoblacksburg.org)

For this week’s arts and culture podcast on The News Feed, Nick and Henry lay out some exhibitions and concerts going on this weekend and throughout the semester that folks can enjoy. While a couple events are only this weekend, we’ll also point out a few things that are going on all semester long for people to check out when they have a chance.

For more information on any of the events talked about in this week’s podcast, please feel free to read through these various links:

Grand opening of Alexander Black House’s 2nd floor

Fiddlin’ at the Lyric

Art exhibitions at Moss Arts Center

Jazzy Ash & the Leaping Lizards

Sweatshirt causes up roar with Virginia Tech and its students

New York, Ny. Sept. 18 — Photo posted to Bstroy’s instagram account that was later taken down. Photo: Bstroy

By: Taylor Kelso

The release of a new controversial hoodie is causing an uproar with Virginia Tech and its students. A new brand in Atlanta, Bstroy, debuted “Virginia Tech” hoodies referencing the 2007 campus shooting.

The debut happened during New York Fashion Week, a prime time for fashion designers to showcase their new designs.

Pictures of the fashion week models wearing the hoodie, quickly surfaced to the internet.

The hoodie was posted to Instagram by Bstroy. The company described itself as a “neo native menswear design house.”

Bstroy made similar hoodies referencing school shootings including Columbine, Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, and Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The image of the Virginia Tech hoodie has since been taken down from the company’s Instagram.

Virginia Tech asked the company to stop selling the merchandise because the brand did not have proper permission to use the school’s name.

The university released a comment in response to the surfacing images to its twitter account saying “This is not an endorsed university item, and we reject its message and imagery. We’ve asked this item be removed & not sold as it represents an illegal use of our name. The community can assist by not sharing this image further and prevent this image from doing any harm.”

Mark Owczarski, Virginia Tech’s spokesman declined to speak on the matter because he doesn’t want the university to help the creators of the merchandise to receive more publicity.

“Virginia Tech finds the item tasteless and the university will not lend it’s name to such merchandise. Use of our name on such items is not lawful,” said Owczarski.

According to The Roanoke Times, the university has asked for any images of the hoodie to be taken down because it represents trademark infringement.

The Virginia Tech shooting happened on April 16, 2007 and left 32 students dead. This was one of the many mass shootings that shocked the nation.

Although, students at the university now were not here during the shooting it still hits home for some.

Juan Pacheco, a student and child of a Virginia Tech alumna, was one of the many students that took a call for action on social media.

“Seeing those pictures surface just made me realize the lack of sympathy some people have for our loss as a community,” said Juan Pacheco.

Bstroy made similar hoodies referencing school shootings including Columbine, Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, and Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Amtrak offers $10 train tickets, New River Valley proposes new station

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During October 1 to October 10, passengers are able to enjoy a one-way train ticket to or from Virginia for just $10.

The discounted fare celebrates 10 years of partnership between Amtrak and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. The deal extends to 18 stations within the northeast, including Union Station in Washington, D.C.

With only a handful of train stations currently in Virginia, the closest one to the New River Valley is in Roanoke. Virginia Tech offers a $4 bus ride to the station from campus, 45 minutes away.

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Christiansburg plans to unveil a new Amtrak station within the next few years, in hopes of making it easier for the community to travel by train.

Speaking on the project, Christiansburg Mayor Mike Barber says, “It looks like it may be in the 2022 period at this point… the location has been selected. The proposed site is in Christiansburg across from our Aquatic Center.”

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Mayor Barber stated this was chosen out of 28 different proposed locations throughout the New River Valley.

A meeting regarding the New River Valley Rail is set to take place on October 3 to discuss additional details.