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Announcement
September 9, 2021

Repair: Fall 2021 Public Programs and Engagement

Columbia University School of the Arts

Virgin Prairie Soil Profile, Kansas. Photo: Jim Richardson.*

Traversing media and disciplines, the fall 2021 public programs and engagement season at Columbia University School of the Arts will focus on the concept of Repair.

Conversations, theatrical presentations, podcasts, and performance will explore creative practices that engage social and political initiatives committed to reimagining and transforming frayed relationships between humans, other species, the planet, and ourselves.

In September, composer, pianist, and educator Arturo O’Farrill will present his work, followed by the world premiere of Mundoagua by Arturo O’Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. Commissioned by Columbia University School of the Arts and livestreamed from the Miller Theatre stage.

Farah Jasmine Griffin will discuss her new book, Read Until You Understand: The Profound Wisdom of Black Life and Literature, with Daphne Brooks and Imani Owens.

In October, Carol Becker and David Henry Hwang will lead the fourth annual Columbia University School of the Arts International Play Reading Festival. This marquee festival will be presented as podcasts. It will feature readings of the following three plays by international playwrights. These include:

Appointment with gOD, by Asiimwe Deborah Kawe (Uganda): Visa applicants trade tips on how to best present themselves before US consuls—the “gODs.”

The Dark, by Nick Makoha (UK): After eight years of civil war, four-year-old Nick and his mother flee their homeland of Uganda.

This is not a memorized script, this is a well-rehearsed story, by Dima Mikhayel Matta (Lebanon): A performer questions gender, memory, sex, identity, and her relationship with Beirut.

To conclude the festival, David Henry Hwang will interview the playwrights.

Also featured in October:

Mark Dion will present a forthcoming project on Governors Island, followed by a conversation with paleoceanographer/marine geologist Maureen Raymo.

Michael Arad, Susan Meiselas, Doris Salcedo, Hank Willis Thomas, and Mabel O. Wilson will each present one of their visionary memorial projects, in a roundtable co-organized by the Center for the Study of Social Difference. Introduced by Marianne Hirsch and Diana Taylor. Moderated by Carol Becker.

In November, George Chauncey, Tom Kalin, Alex Stapleton, and Kendall Thomas will explore Kalin’s contribution to Pride, a documentary series chronicling the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the United States.

Visit the School of the Arts website for the full season of events.

Columbia University School of the Arts recognizes Manhattan as part of the ancestral and traditional homeland of the Lenni Lenape and Wappinger people. By acknowledging the legacies of displacement, migration, and settlement that have enabled us to gather, we are taking a small first step toward the long and overdue process of healing and repair. The School of the Arts continues to confront and address issues of exclusion, erasure, and systemic discrimination through ongoing education and responsible representation.

*Image above: Prairie plant roots reach deep into soil teeming with the life of nematodes, protozoa, fungi, and bacteria that carry out the work of converting minerals into nutrients. Built up over millennia, the soil becomes a natural carbon sink of enormous proportions.

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