The arts are an increasingly important part of the student experience. Students at Columbia benefit not only from studying in one of the arts capitals of the world, but also from the University’s commitment to making the arts an integral part of attending Columbia. In recent years, this commitment has deepened, finding its expression in the continual integration of the arts into the Core Curriculum, the creation of the University-wide Arts Initiative, and the arrival of respected writer, cultural critic and educator Carol Becker as dean of the School of the Arts. A few of these many exciting developments are described below.
Student Arts Groups
One of the best measures of how well the arts are engaging students is the existence of more than 80 student arts organizations on campus. Organizations cover a wide range of artistic and cultural endeavors, from the Columbia Composers, who perform the work of graduate students in the music program; to LateNite Theater, which produces original student-written theater work; to the hip-hop dance troupe Raw Elementz. For a full list of arts groups at Columbia, visit the Arts Initiative Web site.
School of the Arts
The arrival of a new dean, Carol Becker, in fall 2007 comes at a time of great success and growth for the School of the Arts. With graduate programs in film, theater, visual arts and writing, some 800 students are enrolled each year from 48 countries across the globe. The film program has enjoyed remarkable success in recent years with Columbia students and alumni taking home top prizes at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. A record-breaking twenty Columbia-linked films were selected to screen at Sundance in 2007, most of them in competition—including the most short films ever accepted at Sundance from one school (ten).
The SOA theatre program has grown through new initiatives, such as the New Voices New Play Festival, which features work by MFA playwriting students. In the past few years, students, faculty, and recent alumni of the theater, writing, and visual arts programs have been recognized for their work with such accolades as the Pushcart Prize for poetry and Tony Award nominations for directing.
Visit the School of the Arts Web site >
Center for Jazz Studies
While other University-based jazz studies programs focus on training musicians or musicologists, Columbia’s Center for Jazz Studies champions its subject as an interdisciplinary field encompassing not only music but also expressive modes in dialogue with jazz—literature, the visual and dramatic arts, film, dance, new media, and fashion. The center’s programs include concerts, lectures, and symposia that provide public education, appreciation, and aesthetic enjoyment, and celebrate the history of jazz while developing its audience.