Legendary Musician & Artist David Byrne to Address Graduates in Miller Theatre, May 22, 2013

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photo / Catalina Kulczar
New York, NY, April 16, 2013Columbia University School of the Arts will hold its Celebration of Graduates at 2:00pm on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, in Miller Theatre on the Morningside Campus. Graduates of the School’s Master of Fine Arts programs in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts and Writing, and the Master of Arts in Film Studies, will be recognized by Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty, and program chairs Ira Deutchman, Christian Parker, Gregory Amenoff and Ben Marcus. Earlier in the day, Columbia University President Lee Bollinger will present Writing faculty member Lucie Brock-Broido with the 2013 Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. Dean Becker will again recognize Professor Brock-Broido during the School of the Arts’ ceremony.

David Byrne is known as the force behind Talking Heads and creator of the highly regarded record label Luaka Bop. Byrne also works as a photographer, film director, author and solo artist; he has published and exhibited visual art for more than a decade. His works include: Playing the Building, an interactive sound installation at the Battery Maritime Building (NY); a collaboration with Brian Eno, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today; unique bike racks throughout NYC with the NYC Dept. of Transportation; Bicycle Diaries, a chronicle of David’s travels on his bicycle; Talking Heads: Chronology, a DVD featuring live performances (1976 – 1983); and a collaboration with Will Oldham for the soundtrack to the recent Sean Penn film This Must Be the Place. Most recently Love This Giant, Byrne’s collaboration with St. Vincent was released on September 11; his latest book How Music Works was published on September 12 by McSweeney’s; and the theatrical production of Here Lies Love premiered at The Public Theater in New York in April.

“David Byrne is an artist of immense talent infused with a passionate curiosity and a wide imagination,” noted Gregory Amenoff, Chair of the Visual Arts Program and Eve and Herman Gelman Professor of Visual Arts. “The breadth and depth of his artistic investigations move from the seminal band Talking Heads to animatronic sculpture to sound installations to theatre, film and book projects and much, much more. Over nearly forty years his artistic practice, although centered in music, has embraced virtually every program in the School of the Arts—Visual Art, Film, Theatre and Writing.  Mr. Byrne is the very model of how an artist can activate and reveal the world both seen and unseen. We are thrilled that he is bringing his wisdom and inspiration to the graduating students of the School of the Arts.”

"David Byrne is an exemplary, interdisciplinary artist who has had enormous success,” said Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty at Columbia University School of the Arts. “He is also one of the most socially engaged artists working today. He is therefore an ideal speaker to address the next generation of artists as they go out into the world, hopefully to make an impact on society."

Lucie Brock-Broido received her BA and her MA from Johns Hopkins University, and her MFA from Columbia University. Her books of poetry include Trouble in Mind (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004), recipient of the Massachusetts Book Award; The Master Letters (1995); and A Hunger (1988). In 2008, she edited and published Letters to a Stranger, Poems by Thomas James with Graywolf Press. Her awards and honors include the Witter-Bynner prize for poetry from the Academy of American Arts and Letters, the Harvard Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, the Harvard-Danforth Award for Distinction in Teaching, the Jerome J. Shestack Poetry Prize from The American Poetry Review, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
The School of the Arts Celebration of Graduates will be broadcast live from Miller Theatre on Wednesday, May 22nd at 2 PM EST. Watch here > >
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Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.