Miller Theatre's Morningside Lights Links Campus and Local Community
|Morningside Lights Parade
Image credit: Shawn Brackbill
Visitors to Morningside Park on the evening of September 29 were treated to a luminous sight. A parade of over 500 people holding 110 handmade lanterns and glowing sculptures lit up the park’s winding paths and Columbia’s Morningside campus. The sculptures were the centerpieces of the first-ever “Morningside Lights,” produced and sponsored by Columbia University School of the Arts, Miller Theatre and The Arts Initiative.
Executive Director Melissa Smey said, "The goal of Morningside Lights was to create a participatory event that would engage people of all ages and backgrounds, from the Columbia community and the larger neighborhood, in creating art,” she said. The sculptures were created over a week-long series of free public workshops held at Miller Theatre, where people were taught to make illuminated sculptures.
The theme for “Morningside Lights: The Imagined City,” was the vision of artists Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles, artistic directors of Processional Arts Workshop, Inc—whose creations lead New York’s Annual Halloween Parade. Kahn and Michahelles assisted more than 241 community volunteers who helped eager sculpture-building students learn how to use different materials—and transform their ideas into physical objects.
Composer and music director Nathan Davis collaborated with Kahn and Michahelles to create an original soundtrack for “Morningside Lights.” To make the piece, Davis worked with both recorded sound and acoustic instruments, some of which were constructed during the workshops.
Smey said, “Local families, Columbia students, Harlem-based artists, Medical Center staff came together to create this project, and through the act of creation we developed an incredible sense of community."
—by Nick Obourn
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Five Columbia faculty members have been inducted into the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine. They are James J. Cimino, adjunct professor in the Department of Biomedical Informatics; Quarraisha Abdool Karim, associate professor of epidemiology; Gerard Karsenty, Paul A. Marks Professor of Genetics & Development; Michael Shadlen, professor of neuroscience; and Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Mikati Foundation Professor of Biomedical Engineering.
Herb Gans, the Robert S. Lynd Professor Emeritus of Sociology and special lecturer in sociology, was awarded the 2014 William Foote Whyte Career Achievement Award for sociological practice and public sociology