Fall 2020 Public Programs and Engagement

Traversing media and disciplines, the 2020–21 season of Public Programs and Engagement at Columbia University School of the Arts will focus on the concept of Repair.


Conversations, films, theatrical presentations, events, and podcasts will explore creative practices that engage social and political initiatives committed to reimagining and transforming frayed relationships between humans, other species, the planet, and ourselves.


Produced in collaboration with:

  • Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

  • Cornell AAP | Architecture, Art, Planning

  • Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies

  • Institute for Research in African-American Studies

  • Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center

  • Mother Tongue Film Festival, Smithsonian

  • The Studio Museum in Harlem

  • Queens Museum

Friday, October 2, 8:00 pm ET
Written by Camila Villegas (Mexico)

A kidnapping. A murder. Two parents seek justice and redemption—if only the system worked that way.


Thursday, October 8, 6:30 pm ET

This conversation explores the history, form, and process behind the creation of the powerful new Memorial to Enslaved Laborers at the University of Virginia.


Friday, October 9, 8:00pm ET
Written by Nophand (Thailand)

On a stormy night in Bangkok, four beings are stuck in traffic. Your phone can't help you out of these dead ends.


Friday, October 16, 8:00 pm ET
Written by Candace Chong Mui Ngam (Hong Kong)

Sui Lum and Ah Dai grapple with a date so volatile that the government won’t let them say it aloud.


Thursday, October 22, 6:30 pm ET

Artists Sam Van Aken and Jorge Otero-Pailos discuss experimental approaches to historic preservation.


International Play Reading Festival
Saturday, October 24, 10:00 am ET

Daniel Jáquez (Rarámuri Dreams), and Nophand (Taxi Radio). Moderated by Susan Bernofsky, Writing​. This panel discussion is sponsored by the MFA Writing Program/Literary Translation at Columbia.


International Play Reading Festival
Sunday, October 25, 10:00 am ET

Candace Chong Mui Ngam, Camila Villegas, and Nophand. Moderated by David Henry Hwang, Theatre.


Thursday, November 19, 6:30 pm ET

The film Restless River follows Elsa, a young Inuk woman, as she navigates motherhood after being assaulted by a soldier in post-WWII Canada.



Columbia University School of the Arts recognizes that Manhattan is part of the ancestral and traditional homeland of the Lenni Lenape and Wappinger people. The School also acknowledges that we are part of an institution whose spaces are funded, governed by, and named for families who derived their wealth from the transatlantic slave trade and plantation slavery. By acknowledging the legacies of violence, displacement, migration, and settlement that have enabled us to gather here today, we are taking a small first step toward the long and overdue process of healing and repair.


The School of the Arts will continue to confront and address issues of exclusion, erasure, and systemic discrimination in our community through ongoing education and responsible representation. As a School, it is essential that we foster a truly creative environment where all are seen, heard, represented, and understood, so that our artists can focus their energy on doing what they are called to do: to hold a mirror up to society to interpret the world as they see it, while helping humanity envision a better future.