To Transform | Spring 2024

To Transform
Spring 2024 Public Programs and Engagement

metal structure

Detail of Airworthiness, Jorge Otero-Pailos, 2019. Photo credit: Audun Haugen. © Jorge Otero-Pailos.

The Spring 2024 Public Programs and Engagement series at Columbia University School of the Arts is organized around the concept of “To Transform.” Here we present conversations, screenings, readings, and research about work that enacts transformation on physical, social, political, and psychic landscapes — exploring the complexities that ensue.

Schedule of Events

stop making sense 2023 film
Courtesy of A24
The Making of "Stop Making Sense"

Friday, February 2, 6:30 pm

Presented in Dolby Atmos, a screening of Jonathan Demme’s newly restored Talking Heads concert film, Stop Making Sense, followed by a conversation about the making of the film with its distributor Ira Deutchman, visual consultant Sandy McLeod, and writer and critic Adam Reid Sexton '93. Moderated by Maureen A. Ryan, Film. 

Arthur Jafa, MAGNUMB, April 21, 2021 - October 31, 2021
Arthur Jafa, MAGNUMB, 2021 © The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
The Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter Lecture: Arthur Jafa

Thursday, February 8, 6:30 pm

Renowned artist, filmmaker, and cinematographer Arthur Jafa discusses recent work with art historian and curator Kellie Jones, African American and African Diaspora Studies and Art History and Archaeology. Introduction by Jafari S. Allen, Institute for Research in African American Studies.

still from "If Dreams Were Lightning: Rural Healthcare Crisis"of woman lying in hospital bed with man sitting beside her
Image by Adam Stone, courtesy of El Dorado Film, LLC
"If Dreams Were Lightning: Rural Healthcare Crisis"

Thursday, February 22, 6:30 pm

A screening of the powerful short documentary focusing on patients trying to get help in healthcare deserts as rural hospitals close. Followed by a conversation between the film’s Writer and Director, Film Professor Ramin Bahrani (CC '96) and Wafaa El-Sadr, University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine.

claudia rankine sitting in front of bookshelf
Speak Now: Claudia Rankine

Thursday, February 29, 6:30 pm

Celebrated writer Claudia Rankine '93 returns to Columbia University School of the Arts for the first of a new series of events called, Speak Now, organized by Interim Dean and Parr Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Sarah Cole.

analogue site
“Analogue Sites”

Thursday, March 21, 6:30 pm

Artist and preservation architect Jorge Otero-Pailos, GSAPP, presents his series of sculptures created while restoring the former U.S. Embassy in Oslo — a Saarinen-designed landmark — and that will be installed alongside other mid-century icons on Manhattan’s Park Avenue this spring. Response by Matthew Buckingham, Visual Arts. 

woman standing in red room with sign that says power to the people
“Orlando: My Political Biography”

Friday, April 5, 7 pm

Screening of the acclaimed documentary — featuring more than twenty trans and non-binary individuals in the role of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.

books by Eliza Barry Callahan, Emmeline Clein, and Leslie Jamison
Crisis and Desire

Thursday, April 11, 6:30 pm

How can crisis make us more attuned to the world in all its texture and strangeness? How can illness, silence, heartbreak, and hunger summon sharpened forms of attention and wanting? Featuring new books by Eliza Barry Callahan '22, Emmeline Clein '22, and Leslie Jamison, Writing. Moderated by Chloé Cooper Jones, Writing. 

still from the documentary navalny

Thursday, April 25, 6:30 PM

"Enthralling and intimate, director Daniel Roher’s Navalny unfolds with the pace of a thriller as it follows Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny in his quest to identify the men who poisoned him in August 2020."

man playing saxaphone
©2023 BLUE GIANT Movie Project ©2013 Shinichi Ishizuka, Shogakukan
Lenfest Kids

A free monthly film screening series for children and families that delves into the world of music—including West Side Story, The Blue Giant, The Wiz, the Spanish-language version of Coco (with English subtitles), and more. 


manhattanville bridge in bright colors
Manhattanville Community Day

Saturday, June 8, 12–4 pm

Join our friends at the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, The Forum, Zuckerman Institute, Columbia’s Wellness and Employment Centers, and others for free, fun programming in Manhattanville.