USC

Cup of Troy and 29th St. organize musical showcase for sexual assault awareness

After recent sexual assault allegations at USC, student-run organizations partner to showcase student talent for a charitable cause.

Joshua Wilson opens with band members as the first performance of House Crawl.

Following a brief hiatus in September, 29th St. Productions returned to the stage to provide a platform for local music artists and raise funds against sexual assault.

While the event highlighted a serious matter, it also provided both musical guests and attendees with a memorable experience.

“Right now my jaw hurts from smiling, and just the surge of love and support from the audience has made the night for me,” said junior music production major Ashley Fulton after her performance.

29th St. Productions partnered with Cup of Troy, a student-run coffee shop that grew in popularity during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The two organizations created a collaborative event called “House Crawl,” which used two separate venues to host four vocal artists on Nov. 19.

The four artists included USC Thornton students Joshua Wilson and Fulton, both of whom were openers for each venue, followed by LA vocal talents Karina Rae and music group, “c a n d i d.”

In addition to providing live performances, the collaboration between 29th St. and Cup of Troy donated the event’s earnings from ticket sales and drink purchases to Peace over Violence, a local nonprofit dedicated to ending sexual, domestic, and interpersonal violence.

“We both wanted to donate towards sexual assault violence and prevention, given recent events at USC which are quite unfortunate,” said Christian MacArthur, a graduate student in engineering management, and one of the original founders of 29th St. Productions.

Following the sexual assault allegations against the Greek fraternity Sigma Nu, the student-run organizations agreed to donate to related causes to help in “creating a safe and affordable space” for both students and artists could enjoy themselves, according to MacArthur.

“It’s time we take the reins and be the change we want to see in the world,” said Fulton. “It’s really inspiring to see where the money was going tonight.”

The first venue opened its doors at 6 p.m., which introduced the first two performances of the evening. Crowds then walked down 29th St. to the Surf Haus, where the remaining artists performed.

“Everything went so perfectly,” said Shawn Tran, a senior music industry major, and founder of Cup of Troy. “I think both Cup of Troy and 29th St. really came together to pull everything off, and it was an amazing night for all the performers involved, too.”

Tran said the groups have been planning the project for two months. Both groups wanted to work together, but the event took a while to plan due to timing conflicts.

“It was super surreal, just knowing your voice and music could impact others,” said Joshua Wilson in an interview with Annenberg Media. Wilson, a sophomore majoring in vocal performance, explained how Tran approached him with an offer to perform after hearing him sing a few weeks prior.

The Cup of Troy founder reflected on how far they have come in bringing a relaxed environment to USC. He was inspired by his hometown, San Jose, California, where he says it is common to find cafes with live jazz performers.

“We wanted people to kick it and stay in the front yard. That was the original goal I had,” said Tran. “I just wanted to create the vibe I saw back at home.”

This event, among 29th St. Production’s second and third collaborative showcases with fellow student organization Live2 earlier this semester, continues to give student artists the opportunity to elevate their platform and pursue their musical passions.

“I want people to leave after they hear me sing, feeling really good, and inspired to keep going forward,” Wilson said. “I don’t really care about money or fame. I just want people to feel good.

MacArthur said students can expect future collaborations, looking forward to what events may unfold in the Spring.