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Dec

3

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Even though there's no snow outside, let the arts bring you holiday spirit!

Even though there’s no snow outside, let the arts bring you holiday spirit!

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/theatrically-inclined on campus.

Sunday, December 4th

Tuesday, December 6th

  • Curtis on Tour Chamber Ensemble, 6:00 PM, Miller Theatre– “The orchestral nature of Brahms’s G minor piano quartet, No. 25, along with its irresistible Gypsy-style final movement, makes it one of the finest of the genre. Emerging stars from the Curtis Institute of Music perform alongside their mentor, Ayane Kozasa, as they take on this multifaceted piece in our final Pop-Up Concert of 2016.” – Free tickets here.

What about the rest of the week?…

Nov

19

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macys-parade-1979

Turkey Day is coming quickly, but first, some arts events!

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/theatrically-inclined on campus.

Sunday, November 20th

Tuesday, November 22nd

  • Columbia/Barnard V-Day Presents “PENDULUM”, 5 PM, Sulzberger Parlor on the 3rd floor of Barnard Hall – “P E N D U L U M is a multimedia sensory exhibit swinging you between depressive and manic states. Through photography, music and sound, video, performance art and dance, this space immerses you in artists’ experiences of mental disorder. The Barnard V-Day Collective invites you to experience the exhibit on November 22, 5-8pm in Sulz Parlor, Barnard Hall. Visitors are welcome to come at any point during the exhibit to experience the work. There will be a talk back held at 7:30pm where viewers are invited to dialogue with the artists.” An auction of selected pieces will follow the exhibit. Tickets are $5.50 with CUID
  • loadbang at the Miller Theatre, 6 PM, Miller Theatre – “Each member of the unparalleled ensemble loadbang is a double threat, composing or arranging every piece on the program for this Pop-Up Concert. Their unique lineup of baritone voice, bass clarinet, trumpet, and trombone makes for a one-of-a-kind contemporary music experience, as each selection they perform must be composed just for them.” Admission is free, and doors open at 5:30.

Picture via Wikimedia Commons, by Jon Harder

Nov

12

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the_creation_of_adam

“God, is that you? Columbia needs you.”

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/theatrically-inclined on campus.

Saturday, November 12th

  • A Night of Sufi Music and Love, 7:30 PM, Lerner Party Space – “The night will be opened by Chris Janigian and Chris Atamian, performing Armenian Poetry with English translations. The evening will feature Amir Vahab, one of New York’s most distinguished composers and vocalists of Sufi and folk music. He will be joined by his ensemble for a performance of Rumi poetry and Sufi music, in Persian with English interpretations.” Tickets here.

Sunday, November 13th

  • Middle Eastern Dance Conference (MEDC), 3 PM, Lerner Party Space – “The 9th Annual Middle Eastern Dance Conference will feature collegiate bellydance troupes from all over the East Coast and two world-renowned bellydancers, Maki Moves and Laura Propenko.” – Tickets here – $5 with CUID

Tuesday, November 15th

  • Poetry Reading: Dawn Lundy Martin & Anne Waldman, 7:00 PM, Sulzberger Parlor – “Dawn Lundy Martin is the author of three books of poetry, including Life in a Box Is a Pretty Life. . . She is a founding member of the Black Took Collective, a group of experimental black poets, and teaches at the University of Pittsburgh. Anne Waldman is the author of more than 40 collections of poetry and poetics, including the recent Voice’s Daughter of a Heart Yet to Be Born. . . She is a co-founder, with Allen Ginsberg, of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University.”

Maybe God can save us. Until then, we have the arts.

Nov

9

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Honestly, what the fuck.

Honestly, what the fuck.

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/theatrically-inclined on campus.

Wednesday, November 9th

  • Mid-Day Music with Kira Daglio-Fine on Jazz Saxophone, 12:00 PM, Garden Room 2 in Faculty House – Kira Daglio-Fin will be performing a program of unannounced selections. This event is free.
  • Opening Reception: residues, 6-8 PM, Louise McCagg Gallery on the 4th floor of the Diana Center – “Of childhood, sexuality, process, and corporeality—residues index activity. The exhibition features works that are linked not by textual but by textural references to hybrid materialities and states of becoming.”
  • Creative Writing Lecture: Ottessa Moshfegh, 7:00 PM, 501 Dodge Hall – “Ottessa Moshfegh is the author of McGlue, Eileen, and a forthcoming collection of short stories, Homesick for Another World. She lives in California.” – Enter through the 3rd floor entrance on Columbia’s campus

Let art heal you. Click for more events!

Nov

1

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"Do better, CSA." -ESC (probably)

“Do better, CSA.” -ESC (probably)

Gowan Moise walks you through last night’s ESC meeting, from cross-councils food pantry proposals to ESC’s new internal “expectations.”

In a sharp departure from the heated and contentious debates of the last few weeks, ESC spent the majority of their general body meeting last night in calm and productive discussion. The majority of the meeting was devoted to the discussion of ideas for how to improve academic advising services on campus as well as expectations for future debates in the council.

Following committee updates, discussion opened with a brainstorm of topics to bring up during a future meeting between ESC and the Center for Student Advising. Most of the topics centered around difficulty in accessing quality advising; 2017 Class Representative Harry Monroe made the point that SEAS students usually decide their major early on in their academic career but are refused access to department specific advisors until they formally declare, sometimes much later on. Sustainability Representative Danielle Deiseroth, SEAS ’18, stated that its often difficult to plan for a college career when advisors aren’t familiar with all the majors or don’t have adequate institutional knowledge, especially given SEAS students’ packed course loads and the necessary forethought into class scheduling. As a closing point on the discussion, Technology Representative Vinay Mehta, SEAS ’18, brought up that a majority of the stated complaints have already been addressed and dismissed by CSA in the past and recommended that ESC check the notes from past meetings with CSA before bringing up new issues with the office.

What about the rest of the discussion?

Oct

29

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Halloween Costume-Wearers or just Art Majors? The world may never know.

“Be safe this Halloweekend, so you can check out all the arts happening next week!”

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/ theatrically-inclined on campus.

Sunday, October 30th

  • Center for the Core Curriculum presents “Bacchae,” 4:00 PM, Miller Theatre – “Euripides’ Bacchae, produced in 405 B.C., dramatizes the introduction of the religion of Dionysus to Greece. . . A central text of the Literature Humanities curriculum, the Bacchae brings to life the tension between the rational and the irrational in Ancient Greek culture, and in our own.” Free and open to Columbia University students and staff.

Tuesday, November 1st

  • A Fresh View: Primo Levi’s Complete Works, 5:30 PM, The Italian Academy – “Best known as an Italian Jewish survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp who wrote lucid testimony about wartime, Primo Levi (1919–1987) also published essays, poetry, commentary, and fiction. His unforgettable work will be presented by editor Ann Goldstein and professor Marco Belpoliti.” Free, but register on the event page.
  • Openings and Archives: Art-Making & Movement-Building, 12:00 PM, 302 Barnard Hall – “Artist, writer, and activist Sabra Moore reads from her forthcoming memoir Openings and shares original archival materials now housed in the Barnard College Archives and Special Collections. The collection and memoir feature over 180 different art works and 79 individual artists, covering a fascinating range of topics, from the documentation of WAR (Women Artists in Revolution) Women’s Services (the first legal abortion clinic in NY), and the Heresies Collective, to the 1984 demonstration against MoMA’s lack of inclusivity in its collections.” – Register here.

Are there any spooky arts events later in the week?

Oct

22

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Brutus knifing school spirit.

Brutus knifing school spirit.

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/ theatrically-inclined on campus.

Tuesday, October 25th

  • Ensemble Signal Plays More Reich, 6:00 PM, Miller Theatre – “The music of Steve Reich once again takes center stage as Ensemble Signal guides audiences through three of Reich’s most intimate compositions. Reich himself referred to Cello Counterpoint as “one of the most difficult pieces I have ever written” due to the speed and precision with which it must be played. Another highlight of the program is Pendulum Music: four suspended microphones swing rhythmically over speakers creating hypnotizing feedback loops.” First come, first serve admission; doors open at 5:30.

Wednesday, October 26th

  • Mid-Day Music @ Columbia featuring Audrey Vardenega on piano, 12-1 PM, Garden Room 2 in the Faculty House – Audrey Vardenega will be performing a program of selections that include Beethoven’s Piano Sonata Op 110 and Brahms’ Klavierstucke Opus 118. This event is free.
  • Reading Columbia: An Evening with Faculty Author Victor LaVelle, 6:00 PM, Pulitzer World Room – “For the inaugural Reading Columbia: An Evening with Faculty Authors, School of the Arts professor and author Victor LaValle will read from his latest novella, The Ballad of Black Tom, a thrilling work set in 1920s New York City that explores themes of xenophobia and racism. An intimate discussion for attendees with Barnard English professor Monica Miller follows the reading.” – Register here.
  • A Conversation with Andrea Scott, 6:00 PM, Horace Mann Hall in Room 150 at Teachers College – “Scott will be discussing her editorial role at America’s premiere magazine through the lens of arts and artists advocacy.”
  • The Remarkable Career of Lucinda Childs, 7:00 PM, Julius S. Held Auditorium – Lecture Hall 304 in Barnard Hall – “Join us for a rare public screening of Lucinda Childs, Patrick Bensard’s documentary about her remarkable career, followed by a conversation with the filmmaker, dancer Vincent McCloskey, and Lucinda Childs herself.”

But is there school spirit during the rest of the week?

Oct

16

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Runway Warriors coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Runway Warriors coincides with Domestic Violence Awareness Month!

Bwog always loves a good fashion show (and hates domestic violence), so we decided to send Arts Editor Gowan Moise and Bwogger Lexie Lehman to Alpha Chi Omega’s annual fall philanthropy event ‘Runway Warriors,’ a fashion show benefiting anti-domestic violence organizations.

This past Saturday, Alpha Chi Omega sorority hosted their annual fall philanthropy event, ‘Runway Warriors 2016: Storm.’ Going into its third year, Runway Warriors is a fashion show and raffle intended to raise money to support organizations in an effort to end domestic violence. This year, Alpha Chi Omega partnered with two organizations —the Joyful Heart Foundation and the New York Asian Women’s Center— which both address domestic violence by providing services to women and children who have suffered domestic sexual assault and/or abuse.

When asked to speak on the impact that Alpha Chi Omega hopes Runway Warriors will have on the Columbia community, Vice President of Philanthropy Inga Norell (BC ’18) said “With Runway Warriors, we hope to educate the Columbia community on what we can do to stop domestic violence. All too often, people view this topic as taboo or too sensitive to talk about. . . Runway Warriors is more than a fashion show: it’s an event to empower those who have experienced the strife of domestic violence and create a culture both willing and able to recognize and prevent domestic violence.”

After the success of last year’s Runway Warriors show, it was difficult to imagine any way for the event to grow to be any more polished or successful. However, Norell commented that in order to improve the event this year, the philanthropy committee “worked to create a more professional and larger reaching event. [The committee] developed partnerships with more sponsors and higher end brands, and we’ve increased the number of models walking in the show.” These partnerships and sponsorships translated into $24,000+ worth of donated goods, split between the raffle prizes and ‘gift bags’ for the first 100 people in the door. Big ticket raffle prizes included a private behind-the-scenes tour of the Natural History Museum, $500+ worth of Dior makeup, $150 of Givenchy makeup, and various other gift cards, while each gift bag included $100+ worth of Moroccanoil products, designer jewelry pieces, and other small items.

Read more about the show after the jump!

Oct

15

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Feeling stressed out? Come relax with some culture and arts this week!

Feeling stressed out? Too many midterms to manage? Come take a study break with some culture and arts this week!

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/ theatrically-inclined on campus.

Tuesday, October 18th

  • Filming at the Borders: Hope, 6:30 PM, Maison Francaise – “Deep in the Sahara desert, as they try to get to Europe, Léonard, a young man from Cameroon, rescues Hope, a Nigerian woman. In a fiercely hostile world where safety requires staying with one’s own people, these two try to find their way together, and to love each other. Hope premiered at the Cannes Film Festival (Semaine de la Critique, SACD award) and was theatrically released in France in 2015, after having been widely shown around the world, and specifically on the African continent. The two leading actors won acting awards at Tübingen Festival. Lojkine had directed award-winning documentaries about Vietnam before shooting this first feature film. For Hope, he exclusively worked with non-professional actors whom he cast for several months in Rabat among the migrants, while finishing writing the script. Shot in Morocco and in a dozen languages, Hope describes the underground world of migration from the inside, the business it relies on, and the extreme gender-based violence. “Boris Lojkine filmed Sub-Saharan migration in a way that has never been shown before. A complete shock.” (Le Point)”
  • Preservation as Battle Zone: Book Launch & Discussion, 6:30 PM, Wood Auditorium – “This round table will elaborate on the inherent problems and unfulfilled potentials of the “battle zone position” of preservation. Obviously, the dynamic and hazardous properties of war fuels the discipline with energy and activism, but at the same time it can overshadow the more subtle and complex aspects of the field – consequently preventing it from being integrated into a broader disciplinary discourse. How can we combine the vigorous and forceful with the ambiguous and unpredictable? How can we untangle ourselves from the armor of war and take on new identities? And finally: how can we combine progress and preservation to solve the challenges of the future city?”
  • A poetry reading by Jorie Graham and Robyn Schiff, 7:00 PM, Sulzberger Parlor in Barnard Hall – “Jorie Graham’s most recent book is From the New World: Poems 1976-2014. She “thinks of the poet not as a recorder but as a constructor of experience. Like Rilke or Yeats, she imagines the hermetic poet as a public figure, someone who addresses the most urgent philosophical and political issues of the time” (James Longenbach). Her many honors include a MacArthur Fellowship. She teaches at Harvard University. Robyn Schiff is the author of three books of poetry, including A Woman of Property. “Schiff’s is a major species of weird, glowing genius…her brilliance is singular, her vision compound. We’ll be measuring this work’s radiance in light-years” (Brenda Shaughnessy). She teaches at the University of Iowa.”

 

But what about the rest of the week?

Oct

8

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Even during midterm SZN, Drake appreciates the arts

Even during midterm SZN, Drake appreciates the arts

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/ theatrically-inclined on campus.

Sunday, October 9th

  • WKCR’s 75th Anniversary Concert, 6:00 PM, Miller Theatre – “In honor of its 75th anniversary, WKCR-FM, Columbia University’s non-commercial student-run radio station, presents a concert featuring two incredible performances by free jazz bassist Henry Grimes and the George Coleman quartet, including George Coleman on tenor sax, George Coleman, Jr. on drums, Rick Germanson on piano, and John Webber on bass. They will help celebrate WKCR’s history of broadcasting alternative, eclectic, and significant content over its 75 years on FM.” – Doors open at 5:30 PM

Monday, October 10th

  • A Land Beyond the Stars: Paolo Galluzzi on Waldseemüller’s 1507 “Cosmographia”, 5:30 PM, Casa Italiana – “Waldseemüller’s Universalis Cosmographia is one of the most important cartographic productions of the modern age; the only known copy, long believed lost, was found in the library of the castle of Prince Johannes von Walburg-Wolfegg in 1901. Purchased by the Library of Congress of the United States in 2003, it is displayed in the Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C. To make public the map’s wealth of historical, technical, scientific and geographic data, the Museo Galileo with the Library of Congress developed an innovative website launching soon.”
  • Curtis 20/21 Ensemble, 6:00 PM, Miller Theatre – “Discover the compositional voices of tomorrow, now. The Curtis Institute of Music trains composers and musicians of the highest caliber, who go on to make major contributions in the field. Their performances have been inspiring Miller audiences since the start of our annual collaboration, in 2012. Hear them in this evening’s Pop-Up Concert, at the beginning of their journey, as their fellow students perform their chamber works.”
  • Lecture: Walter Hood Design, 6:30 PM, Wood Auditorium  – “Walter Hood is an Oakland, CA-based designer, artist and educator. He is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s landscape architecture and environmental design department, which he chaired from 1998 to 2002. His studio practice, Hood Design, has been engaged in architectural commissions, urban design, art installations, and research since 1992.”

More of the week’s arts events after the jump:

Oct

1

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1280px-flag_of_brazil-svg

Gotta love those primary colors!

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/ theatrically-inclined on campus.

Monday, October 3rd

  • Writing the Brazilian Telenovela: A Discussion and Q&A with João Emanuel Carneiro, 7-10 PM, Heyman Center for the Humanities in EC Common Room – “In conversation with Richard Peña, Professor of Film Studies in the School of the Arts Film Program, and Ana Paulina Lee, Professor of Luso-Brazilian Studies in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, Carneiro will discuss his experience in the lm and television industry in Brazil, reflecting in particular on the international appeal of his work. He will address the challenges of today’s globalized media, as well as the role played by issues of class, race, and gender when writing for a popular audience.”

Wednesday, October 5th

  • Combat Paper, 10 AM – 5 PM, Dodge Plaza – “Participatory paper-making workshop, transforming military uniforms into handmade paper, led by David Keefe and Student Veteran Initiatives.” Exhibition to follow on October 14th.
  • Mid-Day Music @ Columbia featuring Yong Murray on the piano, 12-1 PM, Garden Room 2 in the Faculty House – Yong Murray will be performing a program that includes Chopin’s 10 Etudes Op. 25, Nos. 6-10 and Beethoven’s Sonata in A major, Op. 101. This event is free.
  • The B*tch is Back: Older, Wiser, and (Getting) Happier, 6:30 PM, Diana Event Oval – “Join bestselling writer and editor Cathi Hanauer, writer Lizzie Skurnick, Barnard’s own President Debora Spar, and Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan as they explore how our concepts of womanhood and feminism have evolved over the last decade. Hanauer made headlines in 2002 with her New York Times bestselling collection of essays, The Bitch in the House. She will discuss the soon-to-be-released sequel—The Bitch is Back—and the varied ways that bold and intelligent women are choosing to age today. Come hear Lizzie Skurnick share thoughts on having a baby on your own and, as a mixed-race woman, determining the baby’s race; Debora Spar discuss beauty and aging; and Jennifer Finney Boylan reads from her essay on returning to NYC in midlife as a successful professional woman after once living there as a struggling young man. Book signing to follow.”

Thursday, October 6th

  • The Lionel Trilling Seminar | “Symbiosis of Nature and Art: a new Neo-Mannerism?”, 6:15 PM, Heyman Center for the Humanities in the EC Common Room – “Horst Bredekamp presents the next installment of the Lionel Trilling Seminar. Bredekamp studied art history, archeology, philosophy and sociology in Kiel, Munich, Berlin and Marburg. In 1974 he received his doctorate at the Philipps-Universität Marburg with a thesis on art as a medium of social conflicts, especially the “Bilderkämpfe” of late antiquity to the Hussiterevolution.”

By Governo do Brasil [Public domain], via Wikipedia

Sep

28

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Alma is down for anti-consumerist, glorified muzak based on 80s and 90s sampled music

If you’re familiar with most modern art movements, music genres, aesthetics, and, of course, a e s t h e t i c s, you’re probably an expert on vaporwave (or, at least, you spend more than enough time on the internet). Despite considering himself knowledgeable about most musical genres, Arts Editor Gowan Moise knew absolutely nothing about vaporwave. Having attended a meeting of Columbia’s Vaporwave Club, he… regrets to inform you that he stills considers himself ignorant about whatever the hell vaporwave actually is.

Despite the supposed 500+ activities, clubs, and organizations here at Columbia, every once in a while, a few students will get together and decide that Columbia doesn’t offer exactly what their looking for in a club. So, they take it upon themselves to face the Activities Board’s arduous process of gaining recognition, and they begin the process of garnering interest, finding members, and most importantly, holding meetings.

Having held its very first meeting this past Monday, one of Columbia’s newest ‘unofficial’ clubs is the Columbia Vaporwave Club, self-described as the “club for enthusiasts, producers, broadcasters, and those who want to learn more about vaporwave art, music, music videos, and whatever other media may fit under the category of vaporwave.” Started this past July, the club’s main form of communication is a single Facebook page where individuals can share content related to vaporwave and organize to plan meetings.

Now, if you’re like me, all this talk of vaporwave raises a question: what the hell is vaporwave?

Find out about vaporwave after the jump

Sep

24

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This is how people Netflix and chill at EC, right?

What would you rather do: “Netflix and Chill” or go to a filmmaking lecture about a Netflix show?

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/ theatrically-inclined on campus.

Tuesday, September 27th

  • The Challenge to Avert Tragedy: “The Winter’s Tale” Refigured in “Vertigo,” “Phoenix,” & “Gone Girl”, 6 PM, 328 Milbank Hall – “Join cultural critic Elisabeth Bronfen as she takes us on a journey from Renaissance literature through contemporary cinema to explore the aesthetic and philosophical import of this mysteriously powerful literary trope of the dead woman’s return. Professor Bronfen, of the University of Zurich and New York University, is the author of the groundbreaking Over Her Dead Body: Death, Femininity, and the Aesthetic and, most recently, Mad Men, Death, and the American Dream.” – Free

The rest of the week is here

Sep

17

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kanye_west__moma_3

Kanye is ready for the Morningside Lights

New York City is packed with amazing culture and inspiring art, but sometimes it’s difficult to break the Morningside-bubble and experience it all first-hand. “Where Art Thou” is a weekly guide to interesting and notable lectures, events, and performances for the literary/musically/ theatrically-inclined on campus.

Monday, September 19

  • NYSAF Reading Series: Dido of Idaho by Abby Rosebrock, 7 PM, Glicker-Milstein Theatre in the Diana Center – “With the reluctant guidance of her estranged mother and mother’s girlfriend, an alcoholic musicologist competes with former Miss Idaho for the love of a married English Professor. Dido of Idaho is a comedy about how to win at life when you’re in deep despair, wildly out of control and addicted to love.” – Free, but RSVP to [email protected]
  • Vanishing Lines, Soluble Boundaries, Sliding Identities – Ananda Devi, in conversation with Madeleine Dobie, 6:30-7:30 PM, Maison Française East Gallery in Buell Hall – “Ananda Devi is a novelist and scholar born in Trois-Boutiques, Mauritius in 1957. She has lived in Ferney-Voltaire, France (near Geneva) since 1989, after having spent some years in Congo-Brazzaville. As an ethnologist and a translator, Devi is sensitive to the interconnection between identities and languages. Choosing to write in French, her novels and short stories also incorporate Creole and Hindi. Her incisive, lyrical and shrewd style offers the French language new cultural and linguistic scope linked to her native island.” – RSVP here

Saturday, September 24th

  • Morningside Lights: TRAVERSE, 8 PM, Morningside Park – “For 100 years, the Pulitzer Prizes have celebrated the great writers and artists of our time. This fall, makers and marchers participating in our community-created lantern procession Morningside Lights will have a chance to literally illuminate favorite passages by great poets who’ve received this unique honor over the past century.” – Lantern building workshops from Sept. 17-23 – all associated events are free

Photo by Jason Persse; no changes were made

 

Aug

20

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What if Columbia has to mortgage Butler???

What if Columbia has to mortgage Butler???

Despite being in the middle of wrapping up his summer legal internship, Arts Editor Gowan Moise took the time to look into the latest legal allegations against our great University. 

Last Tuesday, a proposed class action lawsuit naming Columbia University was filed in the New York federal district court. In the complaint, the unnamed plaintiff (“Jane Doe”) accused the university of allegedly overcharging administrative fees for participation in its retirement plan. In addition to this allegation, Doe claims that Columbia improperly managed the investment options and selected poorly performing options over alternative investments, thereby reducing the retirement assets of university employees. These actions by the university allegedly caused participants in the university’s retirement plan to lose hundreds of millions of dollars, leading the beneficiaries to ask the court to judge Columbia liable for $100 million in damages.

The complaint against the university seeks class action status, as it represents a proposed class of 27,000+ participants in Columbia’s retirement plans. The suit claims that the university breached its fiduciary responsibility according to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by allowing participants in the retirement plan to pay unreasonable fees for administrative and investment services in relation to the retirement plan. Because Columbia also allegedly “selected and retained expensive and poor-performing investment options that consistently and historically underperformed their benchmarks and similar funds,” according to the complaint, “Columbia University caused … plans, and hence participants, to suffer hundreds of millions of dollars of staggering losses to retirement savings.”

Columbia has yet to make any official statement regarding the filed lawsuit. Provided that the summary judgement is not reached in favor of either party, the university will ultimately either address its fiduciary responsibility to participants by either settling with the plaintiffs out of court, or face trial.

In addition to Columbia, eight notable universities have been recently named in similar proposed class action lawsuits relating to retirement plan mismanagement and breach of fiduciary duty. These universities include NYU, Yale, the University of Pennsylvania, and MIT, among others.

For the legal-minded, the initial complaint of the lawsuit filed against Columbia and other related court documents can be accessed online through this site ($5 per document with the 14-day free access trial).

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