Written by Morgan Wrigley
A group of integrated marketing and communications (IMC) students saw their work on a semester-long project come to fruition last weekend as they hosted two showings of a new documentary.
Giving their event the title “Rocking with Raney,” the Integrated Marketing Communication Capstone class focused on promoting and hosting two showings of the documentary about Raney Recording Studio in Drasco, Arkansas.
Senior Meg Sinha said the class started the process of planning these events by watching the documentary and learning about recording artist Jon Raney.
“We got to hear a little bit of his backstory and his family’s backstory so that we had a good foundation for what we were going to do,” Sinha said. “We also got to hear from Addison Carney, who was in our class and also happens to be in the band Rivers West, and they recorded with John Raney. They’re actually in the process of their second album.”
The two showings of the documentary were both Saturday, April 22. The first showing was in Heber Springs, Arkansas, and the second was in Searcy at the Rialto Theatre, followed by a performance from Rivers West. Both events were complete with refreshments and displays honoring Jon Raney and his accomplishments.
“At the Heber event, a lot of [the crowd] was Jon’s family and friends and just people in the community who knew and loved him,” Sinha said. “And then the Searcy event was really cool because it was very much a Searcy crowd. . . . So it was really cool to see the two different groups that came to both events.”
Senior Easton Eads was part of the group that helped facilitate the event in Heber Springs.
“After the film was over, we had a little Q&A where people were telling stories of how they knew Mr. Raney and his family,” Eads said. “It just felt like one big church potluck where everyone was so excited and proud to know Mr. Raney.”
Eads said after the question and answer session, Professor Lori Sloan announced a new scholarship established in Jon Raney’s name, and after the event, several people donated $2000 to the scholarship fund.
“Of course, that is a testament to how highly people think of the Raney family, but also to the hard work of everyone involved in the whole thing, from the film crew and editors, to the Harding staff and my class that put the event on,” Eads said.
Senior Macey Worrell said the best part of working on the project was seeing it all come together, adding that everything went perfectly.
“My classmates and I were so honored to get to showcase Jon Raney’s incredible legacy,” Worrell said. “…We loved hearing the different ways people worked with Jon. It showed us just how important this event was and how much it meant to people. We all were able to contribute our different talents to create something super special for Jon and his family to remember.”