Where are they now? Drew Fischer
A spotlight on Interdisciplinary Studies Alumnus, Drew Fischer and the annual Lost Sierra Hoedown
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Sierra Nevada College first opened its doors in 1969. Since then thousands of students have passed through SNC, en route to diverse and numerous lives and Drew Fisher is one of these students.
After taking time off and attending two prior schools, Drew transferred to SNC in the fall of 2012. Drawn by the ODAL program, he ultimately decided on Interdisciplinary Studies, pairing ODAL and Journalism. Interdisciplinary majors are required to do a service learning project within their fields of study and interest. Seeing opportunity beyond the requirements, Drew began developing a plan that would become the Lost Sierra Hoedown.
“The structure of the Service Learning class has an opening for a student who has a very small idea and just wants to get to know an organization, or it has an opening for a student working from the ground up. And students can have a valuable experience across the board, said Katie Zanto, Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies Associate Professor
Drew’s passion for music and skiing had become clouded by the direction of both industries. He was unhappy with the wasteful, environmentally irresponsible “malarkey” of music festivals, and was witnessing the corporate commoditization of local ski areas. With help from Azariah “Z” Reynolds, Cody Wilkins, and Rachael, the Hoedown was created to be a sustainable event model, and to raise money for the historic Johnsville Ski Bowl.
“I like to call the Hoedown a family friendly campout with music, adventure, and outdoor education,” said Drew. “Large music festivals are not putting outdoor ethics and sustainability high on their priority lists. The Hoedown takes place inside a state park, on a historic ski bowl, without a powerline or freeway in sight. That’s what’s special to me.”
In 2013, the event drew 340 people, and featured 12 acts on one stage. In 2015 it reached 500 people, and this year will feature 33 acts on four stages. Marina McCoy, a Hoedown regular, says “to me it’s about escaping your everyday life, and going back to our roots.”
“I’ve been really impressed with his focus on the mission and and the delivery of the festival, and everything Drew has done related to this, has been impeccable in terms of offering students at SNC a really valuable experience.” said Zanto.
Drew attests that his classes and professors played a huge role in his success, and that he has gained invaluable experience toward the rest of his life.
“It’s all in the approach. It’s super important to find purpose in everything you do. Every project, paper, and presentation. Find the resources, find the opportunities, and don’t just do the bare minimum. Try to appreciate that there is purpose there. You never know what four minute presentation could be the life-changing information you need in the future.”
The Lost Sierra Hoedown is Sept 22-25. For more information, to buy tickets, or volunteer, visit lostsierrahoedown.com.