Arts Initiative Press

Glowing Puppets Take to the Harlem Streets
HUFFINGTON POST (Oct. 2012) Saturday night, 100 illuminated puppets manned by over 500 people marched through Morningside Park, marking the first ever Morningside Lights Parade. Startled passers-by stopped and gawked at the spectacle, which included trumpeteers, a unicyclist, and glowing eight-foot paper-mache creatures. Over the course of the prior week, local residents built the sculptures in workshops, led by Alex Kahn and Sophia Michahelles, the designers of the New York City Halloween Parade's puppets.

Morningside Lights processional
SPECTRUM (Oct. 2012) Missed the workshops and the Morningside Lights festival last week? Watch the video below for footage of the finished creations, band members, the processional, and a unicyclist.

Check out our photos of the Morningside Lights parade
TIME OUT KIDS (Oct. 2012) If the night sky over Morningside Heights seemed a little brighter on Saturday, it wasn't just because of the full moon. We headed uptown to capture the first-ever Morningside Lights procession, the culmination of a week's worth of community art-making workshops at Columbia's Miller Theatre, and spotted lots of families bearing illuminated, city-inspired sculptures of their own creation.

Morningside Lights brightens an autumn night

EXAMINER (Sept. 2012) A procession of glowing, phantasmagorical shapes wound its way through New York City's Morningside Park on Saturday evening, turning the usually dark stretch of trees, shrubs and rocks into a colorful night garden.

The Arts Initiative and Miller Theatre at Columbia University School of the Arts announce “MORNINGSIDE LIGHTS”
PRESS RELEASE (Jul. 2012) On the evening of September 29, 2012, a strange and luminous city will emerge amidst the streets of Morningside Heights. Winding its way around Morningside Park and through the heart of the Columbia University campus, MORNINGSIDE LIGHTS—a procession of illuminated mobile architecture—will be the culmination of a week of drop-in workshops at the university's Miller Theatre, during which community members from the campus and surrounding neighborhood will come together to create their vision of an imaginary metropolis.

Creative Team Behind Broadway's New Porgy and Bess Talk With Students in Arts Initiative Forum
COLUMBIA NEWS (Mar. 2012) Diane Paulus (SOA'97), half the creative team behind The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, has a new appreciation for the old adage “be careful what you wish for.”

Famed 'Stick Fly' playwright draws crowd at Miller
SPECTATOR (Jan. 2012) Lydia Diamond, playwright of the current Broadway play 'Stick Fly,' spoke to a Columbia audience at Miller Theatre through CUarts' Lunch With Arts Initiative program.

Students and administrators come together over art
SPECTATOR (Oct. 2011) Friday, Oct. 14 marked the return of Lunch with the Arts Initiative, a series designed to connect Columbia students with arts, culture, and each other through informal lunch meetings on subjects related to the arts. Melissa Smey, director of the Arts Initiative and Miller Theatre, reinstated the program which ended in 2009.

Improv Everywhere Conducts An MP3 Experiment
SPECTATOR (Sept. 2011) In collaboration with CUarts, Charlie Todd, the founder of Improv Everywhere, wreaks chaos and comedy on campus.

Miller Theatre Director Melissa Smey Appointed to Lead Columbia Arts Initiative
COLUMBIA NEWS (Jul. 2011) Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger announced the appointment of Miller Theatre director Melissa Smey as executive director of Columbia’s Arts Initiative, effective immediately. The new joint appointment for Smey brings together for the first time two of the University’s innovative organizations providing cultural programming for both the campus community and New York City audiences.


The price is right for concert tickets offered up in CUArts lotteries
SPECTATOR (Nov. 2010) Forget shelling out the big bucks to see a favorite band—CUArts has giveaways to suit all kinds of music tastes, and free tickets are hard to beat.

Mosher steps down as Arts Initiative director
SPECTATOR (Oct. 2010) Tony Award-winning theater director Gregory Mosher is stepping down as founding director of Columbia’s Arts Initiative, but he says this isn’t his final bow at the University.

Mosher Departs as Head of Columbia University Arts Initiative
BROADWAY WORLD (Sept. 2010) According to an announcement by Lee Bollinger, founding director of the Arts Initiative at Columbia University, Gregory Mosher, will be redirecting his efforts on theatre and continuing as a Professor of Professional Practice for the fall. Mosher has headed the program for the past six years.

Win tickets to ‘The Daily Show’ standup special in Central Park
SPECTATOR (Jul. 2010) Social media is the gift that just keeps giving! CUArts just launched a new giveaway of three VIP passes to next week’s Central Park SummerStage standup performance of “The Daily Show” and Friends, featuring comedians Lewis Black, Rob Riggle, John Oliver, and Rory Albanese.

20 Questions for Gregory Mosher
AMERICAN THEATRE (Mar. 2010) American Theatre magazine interviews Tony-winning director Gregory Mosher, whose production of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge is currently running on Broadway's Cort Theatre (with Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson in the leading roles) and who has served for the past five years as director of the Columbia University Arts Initiative, a program that deepens the involvement of students, faculty and alumni in the arts.

Savvy theater buffs don’t have to beware the Ides of March
SPECTATOR (Mar. 2010) We all know the real reason we came to Columbia—the city. But what’s the use of being here if we’re too broke to take advantage of all the opportunities the city offers? To combat empty wallets, nights at Butler, and general Philistinism, A&E is introducing a new series where we bring you a complete ticket price guide and compare TIC’s prices with those offered through other discount outlets.

Restaurant Discounts for Columbia Students
MY UPPER WEST (Mar. 2010) If you are a Columbia student, or if you happen to be a member of the Columbia Alumni Arts League (CAAL), now there are some great discounts for you at Upper West Side restaurants.

CUArts announces new restaurant discount program for students
SPECTATOR (Feb. 2010) Restaurant Week may be over, but Columbia foodies are in luck. In an email on Feb. 23, the Columbia University Arts Initiative announced a new program, CUlinary ARTS, that provides discounts or free dishes to students who show a Columbia student ID at 30 city restaurants.

Theater Talk: “A View from the Bridge” with actor Liev Schreiber and director Gregory Mosher
CUNY TV (Feb. 2010): Hosts Susan Haskins and Michael Riedel interview actor Liev Schreiber and director Gregory Mosher for CUNY TV's Video series Theater Talk, a series devoted to the world of the stage, featuring interviews with theatre professionals.

Schreiber, Johansson Build A 'Bridge' To A Classic
NPR (Feb. 2010): Broadway's newest hit is a 55-year-old play — the can't-lose combination of Arthur Miller and a couple of hot Hollywood stars. Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson star in A View from the Bridge, Miller's attempt to take Greek tragedy and give it an American twist.

CUArts’s Mosher builds ‘Bridge’ between Columbians and Broadway theater
SPECTATOR (Feb. 2010): Gregory Mosher lives a double life. As the director of Columbia’s Arts Initiative and of the current Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge”—which opened on Jan. 24, starring Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson—Mosher is juggling both jobs, letting one inform the other. “I used to work on the art,” Mosher said. “Now I am focused on finding the next generation of audiences.”  

Miller Triumphant, Mosher Ascendant

WALL STREET JOURNAL (Jan. 2010): Theater offers few pleasures so immediate as the joy of watching a show in which absolutely everything works, all the way from the first line to the final curtain. Gregory Mosher's revival of "A View From the Bridge," Arthur Miller's 1955 play about love and death on the Brooklyn waterfront, is that kind of show, a flaw-free production of a well-made melodrama.

Columbia program breaks the ballet barrier, but not the bank
SPECTATOR (Jan. 2010): For Columbia students who want to see ballet, but don’t want to drain their bank accounts, CU Arts and New York City Ballet have collaborated to make ballet performances more accessible and affordable for students.

Just a Little TIC
SPECTATOR (Jan. 2010): “They’re just too damn expensive, man.” That’s pretty much the answer you are bound to hear upon asking Columbia students why they don’t take advantage of in what is arguably the greatest theater in the world, just 15 minutes downtown...Luckily for Columbia students, we have an on-campus organization whose goal is to make sure such a sentiment never persuades students to miss out on the thriving theater scene. The Ticket Information Center, whose booth is located in the lobby of Lerner Hall, aims to solve two problems University students have with partaking in New York theater: sorting through the numerous theatrical choices offered, and affording whichever they choose.

A View From Brooklyn of Tragedy Most Classic

NEW YORK TIMES (Jan. 2010): What's extraordinary about Gregory Mosher's beautifully observed production of "A View From the Bridge" is how ordinary most of it feels.

Broadway checks out "View"

VARIETY (Jan. 2010): If there's a formula for producing a Broadway play that makes it into the black, A View From the Bridge is it… The former head of Lincoln Center Theater and now the director of Columbia U.'s Arts Initiative, Gregory Mosher has a long list of Rialto directing credits including "Glengarry Glen Ross," "Speed-the-Plow" and "Our Town" …He picked up rights to "View" from the Miller estate because he missed directing and thought the play posed a good challenge. "It has to be something that totally engages you and scares you. And that you believe you can cast."

Death of a Friendship, Birth of a Play
NEW YORK TIMES (Jan. 2010): In 1947, while doing research for a screenplay in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, Arthur Miller heard a story that reminded him of the plot of a Greek tragedy. An Italian-American longshoreman had turned in to authorities two illegal immigrants, relatives he had been sheltering in his home, in order to stop one of them from marrying his niece. Having violated an unwritten proscription against informing, he was disgraced and later disappeared — possibly, as rumor had it, murdered by one of the men he had betrayed... It wasn’t until eight years later, when asked for a curtain raiser for an evening of one acts, that Miller sat down and, in 10 days, wrote the first version of “A View From the Bridge.” ...In the play informing “is an act of self-betrayal,” because Eddie loses his place in his community and his self-respect, said Gregory Mosher, the director of the new Broadway production.

Director Greg Mosher's view from a new 'Bridge' is clear
LOS ANGELES TIMES (Dec. 2009): After taking time off from Broadway, Gregory Mosher (Arts Initiative Director) finds a reason to return with an Arthur Miller play starring Liev Schreiber and Scarlett Johansson... Lee Bollinger, the new president of Columbia University, asked Mosher to start a program to bridge the school's campus and the realm of the arts. Mosher took Bollinger's invitation to make Columbia an artistic-academic laboratory. He remains director of the Columbia University Arts Initiative, which these days focuses more on special pricing methods and the Internet to draw more students from Columbia and other New York schools to the arts.

Misadventure Capital: The Sisyphean Struggle of Columbia's Would-Be Zuckerbergs
THE BLUE AND WHITE (Mar. 2009): Social media networks don't just happen in Harvard's backyard. campusplaybook.com and postatime.com are two sites here at Columbia. campusplaybook.com received money from the CUArts Gatsby Charitable Foundation grant, which enabled this website dedicated to campus student group and event listings via Facebook.

Artist Society Offers Time, Space for Creativity
SPECTATOR (Nov. 2008): This semester, Artist Society received money from the CUArts Gatsby Charitable Foundation grant, which enabled it to provide models, snacks, and supplies to attendees free of charge. The club organizes a variety of events, from studio sessions to art fair to exhibits, though the Friday night meetings remain the "bread and butter" of the club.

Student Rush is Going Virtual
VARIETY (Sept. 2008): Gregory Mosher, one of the instigators of Collegetix and the director of Columbia Arts Initiative, aims to make obtaining lower-price student tickets more convenient than the traditional method of standing in line at the box office hoping to make it in. Students can't say, 'Gee, I'm going to go cool my heels in Times Square for four hours and only maybe get a ticket,' " Mosher says.

NYC Theatre On A Student Budget
SPECTATOR (Aug. 2008): Let the tourists and the independently wealthy dole out their Benjamin Franklins to get premium seats at Equus this fall. With your newly minted CUID, you too can have your Broadway orchestra tickets, but for a fraction of the cost.

Golden Ticket
SPECTATOR (Jan. 2008): Given New York's preeminence as an arts and culture hub, a centralized campus box office offering student discounts to city events and performances has been long overdue. The Arts Initiative at Columbia deserves substantial credit for bringing such a necessary service to the Columbia community.

Oliver Sacks Joins Columbia Faculty as 'Artist'
THE NEW YORK TIMES (Sept. 2007): Attracted by his breadth of interests, Columbia University has appointed Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and writer, as its first Columbia artist, a newly created designation... The appointment grew out of conversations that Dr. Sacks had with several people, including Eric Kandel, a Nobel laureate in medicine and a professor at Columbia, and Gregory Mosher, director of the Arts Initiative at Columbia, which aims to incorporate an interdisciplinary approach to the arts into the undergraduate experience. Dr. Sacks, Mr. Mosher said, is an exemplar of the “Hey, kids, you can do more than one thing at a time” message.

The Only Free Ride At Columbia
SPECTATOR (Apr. 2007): Gregory Mosher's goal in creating the Art Train was to "demystify the whole experience of going to a gallery." Not only has the Art Train made more accessible to the Columbia University, it has been an enjoyable experience for those who have taken part.

Jia's Got The World In His Hands
SPECTATOR (Apr. 2007): CUArts, the only element of President Bollinger's tenure that I unhesitatingly adore, gave me another reason to swoon this past weekend. Though I do not know the attendance figures for the festival of independent Chinese film that CUArts cosponsored this past weekend, the decision to screen some of the films on campus was an exciting one.

CUArts Wants You To Spend Their Cash
SPECTATOR (Jan. 2007): The Sainsbury Fund's goal is simply to make the creative visions of any member of the Columbia University community a possibility without the normal financial limitation. "That's one of the most exciting things we do, support everything artistic on campus," said Caralyn Spector, project coordinator of the Arts Initiative.

Vaclav Who? Oh Yeah, the President Guy Who's Reviving His Artistic Side
THE NEW YORK TIMES (Dec. 2006): Vaclav Havel suspected he was not exactly a household name to the students at Columbia University when he began a residency there this fall. After all, the average college freshman had barely learned to crawl in 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell and Mr. Havel was emerging on the international stage as the president of Czechoslovakia. Gregory Mosher, the director of Columbia’s Arts Initiative, which brought Mr. Havel to the university, put it more bluntly. “They had no idea who he is,” Mr. Mosher said. “They heard the name and thought he was a hockey player.”

STAFF EDITORIAL: Havel's Wisdom
SPECTATOR (Nov. 2006): Vaclav Havel's residency in many ways epitomizes the purpose of Columbia University's Arts Initiative. Though there have been some complaints, o n the whole his presence on campus has kindled new dialogues, broadened student perspectives, and brought the unique insight of one of the 20th century's most remarkable leaders into Columbia's daily life.

STAFF EDITORIAL: Artists on Campus
SPECTATOR (Sept. 2006): This October, thanks to CUArts, Columbia will welcome Vaclav Havel to campus as an artist in residence. His time here ought to be an exciting one for the University--and especially for undergraduate students who normally would not have an opportunity to meet or interact with someone of his caliber.

University Welcomes Playwright: Vaclav Havel
SPECTATOR (Oct. 2006): The Arts Initiative at Columbia University has organized at least 15 events relating to Havel's life, including a discussion between Havel and former President Bill Clinton about the challenges of new democracies exclusive to the Columbia community.

Website Brings NY Scene to CU
SPECTATOR (Oct. 2005): Seeking to define--or, rather, to blur--the line between Columbia and the New York arts scene, Mosher, the head of the Columbia Arts Initiative, is launching CUArts.com, a web site designed as a comprehensive source for student access to the arts on campus and around the city. The site will debut on Monday, Oct. 10.

Tierno Bokar Theater Review: Timeless Lessons on Tolerance Imparted by a Sufi Sage From Colonial Africa
THE NEW YORK TIMES (Apr. 2005): ''All through human history, every society ends up by getting it wrong.'' With these words, Peter Brook maps how civilizations fall. At first there is energy for new social, religious and political structures. Then structures become institutions and institutions harden into fossils. Therein lies the tale of ''Tierno Bokar,'' the lyrical and frustrating work Mr. Brook brings to Columbia University.

Columbia's New Arts Plan Takes Center Stage
SPECTATOR (Mar. 2005): To relieve the School of the Arts from the burden of coordinating such events, Bollinger appointed Gregory Mosher to head the newly conceived University Arts Initiative in February 2004. Mosher spent the first few months of his tenure meeting with representatives from community arts groups, faculty, administrators, and students.

The Gates of Heaven? No - The Park
SPECTATOR (Feb. 2005): "The Gates" the latest public art exhibition in Central Park unfurled Saturday and people from New york City and the world--including Columbia University's Art Initiative--took notice. Artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude are internationally famous for their large-scale temporary public art projects.

An Artistic Endeavor
SPECTATOR (Feb. 2004): Mosher emphasizes the need for the artst to be at the forefront of thinking throughout the University. He said that this project was about making connections and "building bridges" between both the University and the arts world, and between different fields of study at Columbia.

Director's Job: Involve Columbia in Arts and Vice Versa
THE NEW YORK TIMES (Feb. 2004): Gregory Mosher has directed and produced about 150 productions, at Lincoln Center, on Broadway and off, at the Goodman Theater in Chicago and in London at the Royal National Theater and in the West End. Now Mr. Mosher is about to take on his most unusual production yet, as director of the new ''University Arts Initiatives'' at Columbia University. It is a post created by Columbia's president, Lee C. Bollinger, to build the arts into the lives of students, professors and others and to build Columbia more into the arts.

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