Living in the Arts

Looking Outside the Frame is “A photography club themed off of community. Experiencing things while opening our eyes with a different perspective other than societies.” Club president, Samara Spence, developer of the photography club, has a passion for the art of photography, painting, and other art practices. Samara plans on graduating this spring with an Associates Degree in Arts and Sciences. After graduating, she wishes to pursue a degree in film. Samara has greatly enjoyed guiding the photography club at TFC with great effort and a contagious desire for people to learn photography.

Taken by: Samara Spence

This year, Samara started the club and hosted an art festival, their first big event, on February 3rd. For Samara, she wished to demonstrate how the photography club is an important part of the arts that captures beauty. Looking Outside the Frame offers a place for people to grow in their photography skills. Samara explains that she never knew how to start the club, but with the help of her vice-president, she learned how to network and market herself. She looks at the club as “adventuring out” in a small community to share each other’s experience in the subject of photography. Toccoa Falls College students have a wonderful opportunity to join the club as they are looking for members and leaders.

Samara gained her love for picture taking when she found a book, Humans of New York, a collection of stories and photographs of different people throughout New York City. She was fascinated that the author  walked around to different strangers asking for their photograph. She was interested to see how the author was going around to meet new people. However, her vice-president helped Samara shape her perspective for the club as he explained that photography was more than just portraits.

One of the portrait examples she loved was how people showed before and after pictures of losing weight. “It was amazing how their bodies completely transformed”, she stated. Another example that was fascinating to Samara was of a women piercing her bottom lip in another culture to show a sign of beauty. As she looks at these specific instances, Samara is inspired to one day travel and capture Syrian refuges overseas. In addition, photojournalist Jim Loring, at North Georgia Technical College, greatly impacted her and others with his presentation on Syrian refuges. Her favorite part about guiding the community of TFC students in the art of photography is having fun and creating memories. “It’s hard” she explained, “but when everyone has been busy, it is fun to get a group of people together.”

If your interested in joining the photography club Looking Outside the Frame, please contact Samara Spence at

Looking Outside the Frame

A new Toccoa Falls College student organization, Looking Outside the Frame has flourished under the leadership of Samara Spence.

Looking Outside the Frame is a photography-focused student organization on the campus of Toccoa Falls College. Officially notarized by the Student Government Association in September, Looking Outside the Frame has quickly developed an active role on campus. The organization’s mission is “to enable photographers to develop both passion and skill for photography by taking risks and engaging in communities around and beyond them.”

Picture taken by Abby VanWye.

Picture taken by Abby VanWye.

Samara Spence, a sophomore at TFC and founder of Looking Outside the Frame, developed an interest in photography and was inspired by Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York. Spence loves that people are the focal point of the popular photography project. Through Humans of New York, Stanton highlights everyday people and their stories. It is a simple concept with a huge impact. Spence said that photography can be used as a method of anthropology. She desires to authentically portray people and their lives through Looking Outside the Frame and its photographs.



Picture taken by Samara Spence.

Spence also enjoys nature photography. When in nature, she feels as though she can experience God and learn more about His character. “I find peace; all my worries are washed away with the sounds of the wind against the trees and water running down a stream.” Spence photographs moments like these so that she can look back and remember them. She hopes that the members of Looking Outside the Frame can experience and share the beauty of nature through photography.


Spence wanted to start a student organization because she was looking for a way to grow as a leader and build a community. While she experienced some difficulties when implementing Looking Outside the Frame, Spence views these bumps in the road as learning lessons.

Working with people is difficult, yet beneficial.  Spence has learned when to stand firm on an idea and when to compromise. She said, “ I’ve learned that you can’t please everyone. And as much as you like your idea, sometimes, you should let it go if other people don’t agree with it.” Strong communication is crucial to an organization’s health. Spence has developed in both speech and listening skills. She has found it important to portray respect even when it is difficult. She said, “Leading a group of people will always be a challenge for me, but it is a learning process.”


Picture taken by Jenalee Hinkle.

Through the commitment and work of Spence and other Looking Outside the Frame leaders, the organization has quickly developed a significant presence in the Toccoa Falls College community. The organization is actively meeting and taking advantage of many photography opportunities on and off campus. A strong bond is growing among the members. Being surrounded by students with similar passions yet unique perspectives has been rewarding for Spence.

Looking Outside The Frame meets on Tuesdays at 9:00pm in the Student Center lounge. The organization is not exclusive to skilled photographers. Anyone from the Toccoa Falls Community is welcome to attend. Photojournalist, Jim Loring, will be hosting a workshop on November 29th. Also, Looking Outside the Frame will be providing an opportunity for students to display their photographs and art on December 2nd. More details regarding these events will be advertised in the coming weeks.

Photographs taken by students are showcased on Looking Outside the Frame’s Instagram account: @looking_outside.the_frame. The account posts weekly themes, not to only connect but challenge followers. Participants  are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and use creativity.



*Featured image taken by Levi Cornelius.

Murder among the Mateys

This Saturday, the TFC Philosophy Club and the TFC Theatrical Society will be teaming up to bring you this year’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theater: Murder among the Mateys. This year’s Halloween dinner theater will take you to the high seas as participants will interact with the pirates and solve a heinous murder. Meet the crew of the Jaded Jewel, engage in humor, enjoy great food, and dress up in your best pirate gear. Meet Captain Redbeard and his scurvey crew. Meet Governor Napier and his royal family, who despise pirates. Put your detective skills to the test in this interactive set.

Murder Mystery Dinner Theater is a tradition that was started last year. Over a hundred attendees gathered to interact with 1920s mobsters and capture a murderer. This year hopes to be another success, with Philosophy Club President Amber Reynolds at the stern. General Coordinator, Rosse Karely Velez, has been the go-to girl in the process of making this year’s events happen, overseeing props, set, and actors. This year’s event is also due to the efforts of students such as Keegan Murphy, in charge of costuming, and Amber Reynolds in charge of evening’s dinner with the help Dr.Gary Elkins and Paula Elkins. The actors have taken up responsibility for coordinating themselves and have been preparing for weeks while having fun getting to be pirates. Actress Renee Morris commented on the process that has been invovlved in putting on this event; “The cast of Murder among the Mateys is unique because one is not just affiliated with the Philosophy Club or the Theatrical Society. Everyone joins to have fun and be entertained by the students of TFC. One of the actors comments,”I have the privilege to be a pirate with some talented people I didn’t know before this production. It’s been fun to play a pirate and see everyone enjoy the production by playing around with different accents, calling each other pirate insults, and getting to play a character that we might no totherwise be able to portray.” The cast is geared up and excited to put on this production for the student body for the second year.

Saturday’s events will take place October 29th at First Alliance Church in Toccoa – that’s right across the street from Walmart. The doors open at 5:45, and the program begins at 6:00, so don’t be late! Tickets are $3. The Philosophy Club will be selling tickets in the Student Center during lunch and dinner hours this week. Tickets will be sold at the door, but the club asks that you purchase your tickets early so that they can assess the attendance. This year’s attendance will be capped at 100 and last year saw over 100 participants, so get your tickets soon!

A homemade dinner and dessert will be served. Come dressed in your best pirate gear, but if you don’t have a costume, you’re still wholeheartedly welcome to come.  There will be two contests where participants can win prizes: one for best dressed and one for best solution. So buckle your boots, strap on your sword, get out your thinking caps, and join Murder among the Mateys for an extravagant adventure.

Murder among the Mateys

October 29th, First Alliance Church Toccoa

Doors Open: 5:45 – Program Starts 6:00

Tickets $3

Dinner served, Come dressed in your best pirate gear!

For Questions, Contact: or

2nd Annual Coats & Cans: Battle of the Bands

The Justice Campaign held its 2nd Annual Battle of the Bands: Coats and Cans Drive on Friday night. Going off of the success of last year’s event, the Justice Campaign team hoped to raise money and awareness for this semester’s cause. Furthermore, they hoped to present ways that students can get involved, and gather for a fun evening of music and community. Admission was granted to the event with the donation of clothing and/or canned goods. Attendees were treated to coffee and snacks made by the members of the Justice Campaign as they waited for the battle to begin.

Cody Towe

Cody Towe: Captured by Abby Van Wye

The cause of the Justice Campaign for 2016 is for refugees. This call towards injustice comes with the current attention surrounding the Syrian refugee crisis. While the student body longed for ways to be Jesus’ hands and feet in the overseas struggle, the Justice Campaign sought to offer practical ways to fight injustice. Co-Senior Manager of the Justice Campaign, Renna Varano, shared her heart regarding the Coats & Cans: Battle of the Bands event. “With the donations, students can get involved. If they don’t have time, that’s okay,” she encouraged. “These donations are going to great causes that will help refugees get on their feet and establish themselves here. My heart behind it is that people become more aware. This is an event where we want to shed light on this situation and have a fun event for the students.”  Certainly, everyone on the team was ready to have fun and spread their cause. Callie Langston, a first year who eagerly joined the Justice Campaign team, commented, “I’m excited to see all the bands participate. It’s very exciting to see college students get excited about things. I like watching others be excited. It makes me excited.”

Dr. Chris Vena & Keith revealing their scores

Dr. Chris Vena & Keith: Captured by Abby Van Wye

The night saw four bands perform: Wakefield, Blankets, Two and a Half Beards, and The Luke Bagget Band. The night began with Wakefield, featuring Seth Renicks on acoustic, cajon, and vocals with James Hutton on keys and vocals. They opened with a cover of Macy Grey’s I Try and received a score of 22 out of 30 from the judges. After a word from the speaker, the band Blankets performed, featuring Cody Towe on acoustic and vocals with Alex Hurtsellers on acoustic, electric, and vocals. After jokingly changing their band name last minute to the Chris Vena experiment to appeal to the judge, the band captured the audience with their indie acoustic version of Cyndi Lauper’s Time After Time, scoring 24 points with the judges. Next up, the lively boy-band, Two and a Half Beards, played their set. The group featured David Ramirez on keys and vocals with Trey Worsham on bass, Jordan Bisignano on drums, and Alex Bisignano on acoustic. They left the crowd singing along by opening with Rude by Magic! and finished with Georgia Florida Line’s Cruise. They scored a whopping 28 points with the judges. The Luke Baggett Band didn’t actually feature Luke Baggett, but featured Seth Banks on vocals and acoustic. They wowed the audience with their voices, and the judges tallied their votes. After the Luke Baggett Band received a score of 26 out of 30, the prize of T-shirts, gift cards, and a golden duck tchotchke went to Two and a Half Beards.

Trent Delouch

Trent Debouch: Captured by Abby Van Wye

Interlaced into the competition, the Justice Campaign offered more ways for students to get involved in their cause. They raised money by selling T-shirts and raffling prizes. The Justice Campaign also invited Trent Deloach to speak at the event. Trent Delouch is an alumni of Toccoa Falls College and currently the pastor of Clarkston International Bible Church. Delouch brought to the groups attention some of the problems that refugees face overseas and struggles they face when they land right in our backyard. He alighted the audience as to how life isn’t easy, even for refugees who manage to make it to America. The Clarkston International Bible Church seeks to come alongside refugees and offer them a friend in America and any type of support that they may need. Karissa Glass, with the TFC Clarkston Refugee Ministry, offered students a way to get involved with the things that are going on in Clarkston.

Ultimately, it was mission accomplished considering the goals of the Coats & Cans event, but there is still much to do and plenty of ways to get involved. “We’re going to be having events throughout the year,” Varano commented. “We’ll be going to Clarkston and we will be working alongside Trent and the other ministry on campus, the Clarkston Refugee ministry. We’ll be doing whatever needs to be done. We want to help the refugees out in any way that we can. However if students want to get involved: if they want to join the team, come to meetings, or come to events.” TFC is excited to see what the Justice Campaign will do towards their cause this year.

All photos captured by Abby Van Wye

A Night of Improv and Comedy

This past Saturday and Sunday, the Toccoa Falls College Theatrical Society put on their spring production,“A Night of Comedy and Improv.”

Like the title of the show suggests, the actors and actresses performed a few short, comedic skits and entertained the crowd with some bits of hilarious improvisation. The small group of students who had committed to this production rehearsed and prepared for months. The resulting performance showed their hard work!

The skits included a two-part sketch called “Flirting Academy”, inspired by Studio C, and a zany skit called “Are you a fool?” directed by TFC Junior, Rachel Mayo.

The Theatrical Society performed a more serious play in addition to the comedies. TFC senior, Rebekah Stillwell, directed “The Lifehouse Everything Skit”. This silent skit portrayed the redemption story in a moving and beautiful way. Stillwell commented on the evening,

“This was one of the most fun performances the Theatrical Society has ever done! I loved the way almost everyone was in multiple acts. And while our scripted skits were awesome, the best parts (and the ones that got the most laughs) were the improv sessions. It made for an informal, more laid back interaction with the audience. It was a very close-knit group and I was so proud to work with them!”

The night was filled with laughter and a good time was had by actors and audience alike. One audience member said, “It was comical and interesting. I can’t compare it to anything else!”

Rebecca Colson, the leader of the improve troupe, Dead Joke Society, shared her parting thoughts about the production,

“I loved getting to hang out, goof off, and get to know the cast members. With all the stress of final assignments, acting with this group of people has been a great boost. And getting to pray for them before and after rehearsals has been a special joy for me as a director.”

 This statement from Rebecca really sums up what the Theatrical Society is about. This group of theatrically inclined students is able to come together, build each other up, and pray for one another. The group loves to have fun together and, through performing together regularly, has developed a strong bond. Their chemistry transcends from their personal lives to the stage, where they can encourage and entertain others through their passion for the Arts. Their goal is to glorify God in the talent they share with the community and the student body, and this goal has been achieved every semester.

The group loves to have fun together and, through performing together regularly, has developed a strong bond. Their chemistry transcends from their personal lives to the stage, where they can encourage and entertain others through their passion for the Arts. Their goal is to glorify God in the talent they share with the community and the student body, and this goal has been achieved every semester.

The Theatrical Society is a great facet in the student life at Toccoa Falls College. They will have more great performances and events next semester, so students can be on the lookout for their updates! For more information about the Theatrical Society contact club president, Callan Bentley at or Rebecca Colson at

For more information about the Theatrical Society contact club president, Callan Bentley at or Rebecca Colson at