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Jacolby Satterwhite's 3D installation in the 'Here and Now' Festival at The New School's Parsons School of Design

Graduating college students at The New School's Parsons School of Design in New York are getting a matriculation gift from Solange Knowles. Through her creative agency, Saint Heron, the award-winning musician and performance artist has partnered with the school to launch Here and Now, a digital festival that will act as a virtual celebration of the Class of 2020, who have been placed in “an unique and unexpected position” due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, says Jason Kass, the school's interim dean of fashion.

The festival will take place from June to August and feature online discussions, lectures, performances, films screenings, design workshops and mentorship opportunities to provide a space for “discovery and growth”, according to Kass.

In addition to showcasing the students’ end-of-the-year projects, Here and Now will also feature Metonymy, a 3D installation created in collaboration with Saint Heron’s creative team, artist Jacolby Satterwhite, and over 300 graduating students from the School of Fashion at Parsons.

With many universities closed since the Covid-19 outbreak, students have been forced to complete classes online and forgo end-of-year events and graduation ceremonies. This is especially taxing on art and design students who, by and large, prepare all year on final projects to be shown in public-facing exhibitions. “As the world confronts the challenges of our current global crisis, fashion and design communities must embrace new ways to pause, evolve and adapt,” says a spokesperson for Saint Heron. “These challenges open up opportunities to expand growth in our creativity and innovation.”