The Office of Public Programs and Engagement


The Office of Public Programs and Engagement at Columbia University School of the Arts creates interdisciplinary dialogue through lectures, symposia, readings, film screenings, exhibitions, performances, site visits, and more. Conversations and events take place in cooperation with the Film, Theatre, Writing, Visual Arts, and Sound Arts Programs, the Arts Initiative, the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, campus groups, and the city, while providing opportunities for students to work within communities and arts organizations. As the School of the Arts opens The Lenfest Center for the Arts on West 125th Street on the Manhattanville campus, the Office of Public Programs and Engagement offers an array of activity that strengthens local partnerships while highlighting contemporary scholarship, global perspectives, and compelling voices of our time.

Upcoming Events

October 25

Complex Issues: Gary Shteyngart's 'Lake Success'

The Lantern
Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 W. 129 St.
New York, NY 10027 7:00 PM

About Gary Shteyngart’s new novel, Lake Success:
“Narcissistic, hilariously self-deluded, and divorced from the real world as most of us know it, hedge-fund manager Barry Cohen oversees $2.4 billion in assets. Deeply stressed by an SEC investigation and by his three-year-old son’s diagnosis of autism, he flees New York on a Greyhound bus in search of a simpler, more romantic life with his old college sweetheart. Meanwhile, his super-smart wife, Seema—a driven first-generation American who craved the picture-perfect life that comes with wealth—has her own demons to face. How these two flawed characters navigate the Shteyngartian chaos of their own making is at the heart of this piercing exploration of the 0.1 Percent, a poignant tale of familial longing and an unsentimental ode to what really makes America great.”

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November 1

What is Democracy?

The Katharina Otto-Bernstein Screening Room
Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 W. 129 St.
New York, NY 10027 6:30 PM

Screening followed by a conversation with Astra Taylor, Chenjerai Kumanyika, Rutgers University, and Nicholas Lemann, Columbia Journalism School. Coming at a moment of profound political and social crisis, the film What Is Democracy? reflects on a word we too often take for granted. Director Astra Taylor’s idiosyncratic, philosophical journey spans millennia and continents: from ancient Athens’ groundbreaking experiment in self-government to capitalism’s roots in medieval Italy; from modern-day Greece grappling with financial collapse and a mounting refugee crisis to the United States reckoning with its racist past and the growing gap between rich and poor. Featuring a diverse cast—including celebrated theorists, trauma surgeons, activists, factory workers, asylum seekers, and former prime ministers—this urgent film connects the past and the present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political, in order to provoke and inspire. If we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means. Co-presented by Columbia Journalism School and the Urban and Social Policy Concentration, SIPA Registration opens October 3, 2018 Check-in will begin one hour prior to start time. Seating is limited and first come, first served. Advance registration does not guarantee seating; early arrival is suggested.

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