Weekly Observer. January 11-18, 2010

DRAMA ALUMNA IN THE FILM VERSION OF THE HIT MUSICAL PASSING STRANGE BEING BROADCAST ON PBS THIS WEEK

Eisa Davis and Daniel Breaker in
Passing Strange

Eisa Davis, MFA’97, a cast member in the New York production of Passing Strange, also appears in the documentary film about the show directed by Spike Lee, which will air on PBS’s Great Performances nationwide January 13. It will also be broadcast on Friday, January 15, at 2:00 a.m. on channel 13; and Sunday, January 17, at 12:15 p.m. on channel 13 and 3:15 p.m. on channel 21. The documentary presents the Broadway production in its final days at the Belasco Theatre in July 2008. Lee also offers backstage glimpses of the musical during the 135-minute film.

When the show moved to Broadway, after an off-Broadway run at the Public Theater, Davis said, “It’s a dream! I’m finally working in the ensemble environment many of us worked at in school. I don’t know how to describe the experience except that I love and admire everyone in it—the actors, the director, the writer-composers, the musicians. All we do is laugh and fight, and then laugh some more!”

In making the documentary Spike Lee said, “This fresh musical is an unstoppable force of energy, music, and mayhem. The pure rock energy, soul, profound humanity, and brilliant cast are the elements that make Passing Strange unforgettable. As a filmmaker, the greatest artists on this earth to me are musicians because I feel their talents have come directly from God. So when I saw the play I was knocked out. The story, its musicianship, and the acting are a revelation. So often, when you see a great piece of theatre, it’s gone unless you look at an archive of it at Lincoln Center. But this is a great piece of work, and it’s going to be documented for many generations to see."

The show, a semiautobiographical story of a young man’s coming of age, starred co-creator Stew, Daniel Breaker, and de'Adre Aziza, daughter of Parsons faculty member Donna Avery, all of whom received Tony Award nominations for their performances, along with Eisa Davis, Colman Domingo, Chad Goodridge, and Rebecca Naomi Jones.

Eisa Davis recently appeared in the world premiere of This by Melissa James Gibson at Playwrights’ Horizons, NYC; the production was directed by Daniel Aukin, and starred Glenn Fitzgerald.


LANG FACULTY MEMBER NAMED ONE OF THE 50 MOST INSPIRING AUTHORS BY POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE

In an article published in Poets & Writers magazine, Jill Magi, a faculty member at Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts, was named one of the “Fifty Most Inspiring Authors in the World.” In naming Magi, the article called “her grassroots efforts to build community through a micropublishing model proof that you don’t need a lot of money to make an impact.”

When notified that she had been included in a list that featured Joan Didion, John Ashbery, and Toni Morrison, Magi commented, “I think of literature as a whole sea of activity, and if one of us comes up to the surface into visibility, it’s only because we have been buoyed for a moment by the activity of all of us.”

A writer, visual artist, and educator, Jill Magi is the author of Threads, Torchwood, the chapbooks Cadastral Map and Poetry Barn Barn! (That let it roll where you want it), and the forthcoming book SLOT. Her visual work, essays, poems, and prose have appeared in HOW2, The Tiny, The New Review of Literature, Aufgabe, and Jacket, and have been anthologized in Fiction from the Brooklyn Rail, Letters to Poets: Conversations on Poetics, Politics and Community, The Eco-Language Reader, and the 2008 Anthology of Younger Poets.



University News

OPEN HOUSE NIGHT

Come to Open House Night on Wednesday, January 13, and learn about continuing education, certificate, and degree offerings at The New School and Parsons The New School for Design. You’ll also have a chance to win free enrollment in a continuing education class. Meet with faculty, admission advisors, and other representatives from the following programs:

Come early and enter the drawing for free continuing education classes at The New School for General Studies and Parsons The New School for Design. (Some restrictions apply.)

This free event takes place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at 66 West 12th Street.



News from The new school for social research

OBAMA LECTURE BY PROFESSOR SIMON CRITCHLEY IS FORA.TV'S MOST-WATCHED POLITICAL PROGRAM FOR 2009

FORA.tv, a public affairs website featuring video of live events from the world's top universities and think tanks, announced that Professor Simon Critchley's lecture on the branding of Obama was the top political program of 2009. Professor and Chair of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research, Critchley gave a lecture titled 'Barack Obama and the American Void," which served as the inaugural lecture of the Vera List Center's 2008-2009 theme, Branding Democracy. In the lecture, he discussed Obama's subjectivity, the existential detachment that seems to haunt him, and its relation to democracy.

Simon Critchley is a renowned scholar of the history of philosophy, literature, ethics, and politics. Before joining The New School in 2004, he was professor of philosophy at the University of Essex in England. In 1997 and 2001, Critchley held a Humboldt Research Fellowship in Philosophy at the University of Frankfurt. Between 1998 and 2004, Critchley was a Programme Director of the Collège international de philosophie, Paris, and in 2006-2007, he was a scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles. Critchley is the author of many books, including Very Little... Almost Nothing (1997), Ethics-Politics-Subjectivity (1999), On Humour (2002), Things Merely Are (2005), and Infinitely Demanding (2007). His new books are The Book of Dead Philosophers (Vintage, 2008) and On Heidegger's Being and Time (Routledge, 2008).

 


News from mannes college the new school for music

THE SCHNEIDER CONCERTS PRESENTS THE CARDUCCI STRING QUARTET

On Sunday, January 17, the Carducci Quartet makes its Schneider Concerts debut with a performance of works by Haydn, Beethoven, and Moeran.

The Carducci Quartet is recognized as one of today’s most exciting young string quartets. It has attracted an enthusiastic international following and won awards and competitions including the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York and the Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competition. The quartet was hailed in the Irish Times for its “technical rigor, penetrative musical insight, and lively yet unified individualism.”

The Schneider Concerts, established at The New School in 1957 as New School Concerts, was renamed in 1993 in honor of founding artistic director Alexander Schneider. The series’ mission is to offer exposure to outstanding emerging professional chamber artists and to present high-quality chamber music performances at modest ticket prices to ensure access to all New Yorkers.

The Schneider Concerts presented pianist Peter Serkin, the Guarneri and Cleveland String Quartets, and many other ensembles in their New York debuts, as well as pianist Murray Perahia and cellist Yo Yo Ma before they came to wide public attention.

The concert takes place at 2:00 p.m. in Tishman Auditorium, 66 West 12th Street. Tickets are $17.50 for general admission and $15 for senior citizens; standby tickets for students age 25 and younger with ID are $5. For more information, visit the Schneider Concerts website.


NEWS FROM THE NEW SCHOOL FOR Drama

DRAMA FACULTY MEMBER RELEASES BOOK THIS MONTH

Drama voice teacher Nova Thomas and conductor and educator James Jordan co-authored Toward Center: The Art of Being for Musicians, Actors, Dancers, and Teachers. The book describes the use of “centering” to ground performance, teaching, and learning. Centering enables a person to relax and focus and keep the mind alert and the body balanced and stable. Thomas, an acclaimed singer and master teacher, relates how she employs centering in her work to prepare actors and vocalists for life onstage. She will be in Chicago during the winter break teaching a series of master classes based on the techniques outlined in the book.

Visit the GIA Publications website for more information.

 

NEWS FROM PARSONS THE NEW SCHOOL FOR DESIGN

PARSONS ALUMNA TO SHOW COLLECTION AT JAPAN FASHION WEEK

Parsons alumna Fabiola Arias is one of four designers selected to participate in the second-annual SHINMAI Creator's Project, where she will be showing her Fall 2010 collection made up of 20 looks at Japan’s Fashion Week in Tokyo in March. This is the second year that Parsons was represented in this event, with alumnus Nima Taherzadeh showing his collection in the first annual SHINMAI Creator's Project.

The Japan Fashion Week Organization established the SHINMAI Creator's Project, provides an entrée into the Japanese fashion market for both domestic and foreign-talented young designers.

Through the SHINMAI Creator's Project and Japan Fashion Week, the organization aspires to increase Tokyo's reputation as the world's textile and fashion base and enhance Tokyo as the center of fashion business in Asia.

"This is such an exciting time in my career and I feel so privileged to be receiving this honor," says Arias. "I am overjoyed with the opportunity to introduce my designs to the Japanese market and eager to visit Tokyo to begin working on my new collection."

Arias started her own label while studying at Parsons, and she made her New York Fashion Week debut in 2009. Her involvement in the fashion world stems from when she was just 16, and she unveiled her first collection at Miami Fashion Week 2005, where she was later invited to participate in FUNK-SION Fashion & Music Festival. Arias has interned for Esteban Cortazar, creative director at Emmanuel Ungaro, Marc Jacobs, Narcisco Rodriguez, and Maggie Norris.


NEWS FROM THE NEW SCHOOL FOR JAZZ AND CONTEMPORARY MUSIC

JAZZ FACULTY HEADLINE THE HAPPENING 2010 AT ST. PETER’S CHURCH

New School Jazz faculty members Jane Ira Bloom, Bobby Sanabria, and Reggie Workman led groups at The Happening 2010, a concert given in conjunction with the 52nd annual Association for Performing Arts Presenters conference. The concert took place on Friday, January 8 at St. Peter’s Church, home of New York City’s Jazz Ministry.

The Jane Ira Bloom Trio featured Mark Helias on double bass and Bobby Previte on drums. Bobby Sanabria’s Quarteto Aché led the enthusiastic audience of arts presenters from around the country on a rousing journey through Latin jazz. Finally, Reggie Workman and his Trio 3, featuring New School Jazz faculty member Andrew Cyrille on drums and Oliver Lake on saxophones, closed out the performance with avant-garde jazz.


JAZZ FACULTY MEMBER PERFORMS IN ITALY, JERUSALEM, AND BETHLEHEM DURING CHRISTMAS

New School Jazz faculty member Rolando Morales-Matos and the Intercultural Journeys Ensemble, including Israeli cellist Udi Bar David and Arab violinist Hanna Khoury, performed with I Virtuosi Italiani under the direction of Corrado Rovaris at this year’s Concerts for Life and Peace. Antonella Ruggiero also sang during the concert.

The program was dedicated to the best Italian and international composers from the 18th to the 20th century. As in previous years, the concerts took place on December 20 in Italy, December 21 in Jerusalem, and December 22 in Bethlehem; the performance was broadcast worldwide on December 25.



UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCEMENTS

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS FOR 2010—2011 FACULTY RESEARCH FUND GRANTS

The Office of the Provost has issued a call for applications for 2010—2011 Faculty Research Fund grants.

DEADLINE: Monday, January 25, 2010

BACKGROUND AND FOCUS

The Office of the Provost at The New School provides support for New School faculty in their work as scholars and creative practitioners through Faculty Research Fund (FRF) grants, which are awarded on a competitive basis by a committee of faculty from a range of fields and areas of expertise.

For 2010-2011, applicants may request up to a maximum of $10,000 to develop or implement a new research project, professional practice, or creative project that requires travel, training, or other forms of support.

Priority will be given to projects that

  • Include at least two New School faculty members from different schools and programs
  • Connect with topical areas identified as university-wide priorities, such as media studies, environmental studies, international studies, urban studies, food and culinary studies, and the intersection of design fields with the social sciences
  • Are seeking external funding or have the potential to receive external funding, for which FRF funds can constitute seed money or a partial or full matching grant

ELIGIBILITY

The grant is open to all full-time New School faculty and part-time faculty who have taught at least for five semesters at The New School as of spring 2010

APPLICATION INFORMATION

Full details and the online application can be found on the provost’s website.

For more information, visit the website or contact David Ford at FordD@newschool.edu or 212.229.8947 x2798.

 

VERA LIST CENTER 2009-2010 WRITING AWARD: CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

The Vera List New School Art Collection Writing Award honors New School students for the best critical and creative writing inspired by works in the university’s art collection. The award was established in 1996 by the late Vera List, a life trustee of The New School.

The writing award celebrates nonfiction and fiction, prose and poetry. All students enrolled in The New School are eligible to submit either a critical or creative text. There is a first-place award of $400 and a second-place award of $200 in each category. Winners are selected by a rotating panel of judges. The prize-winning pieces are edited by professional art critics in collaboration with the writers and are published in a newspaper. In addition, competition participants meet with prominent artists, curators, or critics, to discuss the relationship between visual art and writing.

GUIDELINES FOR ENTRIES

  • Any enrolled student may submit work
  • Entries should not exceed 2,500 words and must be submitted as an email attachment to kuonic@newschool.edu
  • Include a cover page with the writer’s name, mailing and email addresses, phone number, university program in which he/she is enrolled and his/her New School Student ID number
  • The artwork that inspired the text must be clearly identified on the entry’s first page by the artist’s name, the work’s title and date, and its location on campus
  • Entries must be received by Monday, January 25, 2010
  • For more information contact the Vera List Center at 212.229.2436 or www.newschool.edu/vlc

2009-2010 JURY

Neil Gordon, dean, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts

Carin Kuoni, director, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics

Joshua Mack, Vera List Center Advisory Committee

Rosemary O'Neill, associate professor of Art History, Art and Design History and Theory, Parsons The New School for Design

Robert Polito, director, Writing Program and MFA in Creative Writing, The New School

Silvia Rocciolo, co-curator, The New School Art Collection


NOMINATIONS FOR 2010 DISTINGUISHED UNIVERSITY TEACHING AWARDS

Students and faculty are invited to nominate outstanding faculty members for this year’s teaching excellence awards. Awardees will be notified in late spring and will be formally presented with their awards at Convocation in September 2010.

Faculty members who have taught at The New School for at least four semesters are eligible.

If you would like to nominate a faculty member, you can find detailed information about the criteria and submit your nomination at the provost office website: www.newschool.edu/duta. All nominations must be submitted online.

Nominations must include the following information:

  • Name of faculty member being nominated
  • Nominator’s name, school and department, and contact information
  • Description of the nominee’s relevant merits, with specific examples using criteria related to the nominee’s impact on and involvement with students and colleagues (maximum of 500 words)

The deadline for all nominations is Friday, February 26, 2010. If you have questions or need further information, email comiskec@newschool.edu.

Sponsored by the Office of the Provost

 

DEMOCRACY AND DIVERSITY GRADUATE SUMMER INSTITUTE WROCLAW, POLAND, JULY 10—26, 2010

The 19th Democracy and Diversity Graduate Summer Institute, organized by the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies (TCDS) of The New School for Social Research, takes place in Wroclaw, Poland, July 10-26, 2010. TCDS welcomes 40 junior scholars from the United States, Europe, and other parts of the world for an intensive three-week program of study in society, culture, and politics, centering on the theme of citizens without borders. As the ties that previously bound citizens to a specific territory continue to loosen, participants will explore the emergence of new aspirations, movements, and institutions reflecting the process of de-territorialization and new practices reshaping identities and traditional notions of citizenship.

This year’s institute is designed to offer insight into a momentous experiment now under way: the peaceful construction of a transnational Europe. Located between Berlin, Prague, and Warsaw, Wroclaw, formerly a vibrant German metropolis called Breslau, was almost destroyed during World War II. Repopulated and rebuilt by Poles, it now—20 years after the collapse of the communist regime—possesses a complex and multilayered European identity. The summer institute draws on Wroclaw’s borderland culture to enter into dialogue with new, transitional identities.

An intimate international forum for lively but rigorous debate on critical issues of democratic life, the Democracy and Diversity Graduate Summer Institute brings an interdisciplinary, comparative, approach to the study of the social, political, and cultural challenges facing today’s world. The institute brings together core faculty from The New School for Social Research with other distinguished scholars and guest speakers.

A full description of courses and institute faculty, as well as information on how to apply, will be available in early February 2010.

For more information, contact Amy Sodaro, call 212.229.5580 x3136, or visit the TCDS website.

 

DISCOUNTS NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE MUSEUM OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK

The Museum of the City of New York, located at 1220 Fifth Avenue (at 103rd Street) will now provide a $6 discount entrance to New School students, faculty, and staff who show a valid New School ID.

Also, the museum will be offering a two for one entrance fee to the New School community during the run of their new exhibition, Eero Saarinen: Shaping
the Future, which is on view through January 31, 2010.

The life and work of Eero Saarinen (1910-1961), whose career embodied the “American Century,” is the first-ever retrospective of this architect, which will feature never-before-seen sketches, models, photographs, furnishings, and a specially-commissioned documentary film. Criticized for lacking a signature style and at the same time lauded for advancing the vocabulary of modernism, Saarinen worked together with the era’s most innovative corporations, universities, and government officials to transform life in America. This exhibition is a rare opportunity to encounter some of America’s most important but often least examined structures—including the St. Louis Gateway Arch, JFK’s TWA Terminal, CBS’s New York City headquarters (called Black Rock), and Dulles International Airport in Washington, DC.

 

USE YOUR FREE ADMISSION TO DROP IN AND SEE MOMA’S Tim Burton Exhibit

This exhibition explores the full range of Tim Burton's creative work, tracing the current of his visual imagination from early childhood drawings through his mature work in film. It brings together over seven hundred examples of rarely or never-before-seen drawings, paintings, photographs, moving image works, concept art, storyboards, puppets, maquettes, costumes, and cinematic ephemera from such films as Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Mars Attacks!, Ed Wood, and Beetlejuice, and from unrealized and little-known personal projects that reveal his talent as an artist, illustrator, photographer, and writer working in the spirit of Pop Surrealism. We encourage New School students and employees to drop in and enjoy the exhibit and the entire Museum. In order to receive your free admission, go to the lobby information desk and show them your valid New School ID. Students, faculty, and staff receive one free admission for themselves. Faculty and staff may also obtain an additional two tickets for their guests.

There will be live entertainment as well as drinks and cocktails available for purchase. MoMA is located at 11 West 53rd Street, New York City. Enjoy!

 

TIME OUT NEW YORK DISCOUNT OFFER

Start your year off being in the know about things free or fancy. Time Out New York is offering all students, faculty, and staff at The New School a full year's subscription for just $20! That's 51 issues for the entire year and only 39c an issue. Steal this deal for yourself or a gift to another.


THE BEST DEAL FOR AFFORDABLE THEATER, Dance, and concert TICKETS:
THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND

An exciting spring theater, music and dance season is under way: Why pay $100 or more, when you can pay $20-$36 for Broadway shows and Off-Broadway shows, dance performances and concerts? An inexpensive way to enjoy the best of New York culture is to join Theatre Development Fund (TDF).

To be eligible, you must be a full-time student or teacher, senior citizen (62+), civil servant, union member, staff member of a not-for-profit organization, performing arts professional, or member of the clergy or armed forces. Annual membership fee is $27.50, and you can join online.

A small sampling of performances recently available to TDF Members for $20-36 per ticket include: 33 Variations, The 39 Steps, Altar Boyz, American Ballet Theatre, The American Plan, August: Osage County, Avenue Q, Ballet NY, Beast, Big Apple Circus, Blithe Spirit, Christopher Cross at B.B. King's, Distracted, Enter Laughing, Exit the King, The Fantasticks, Forbidden Broadway Goes to Rehab, Fueerzabruta, Gypsy, Hedda Gabler, Impressionism, Irena's Vow, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, London Philharmonic at Lincoln Center; The Marvelous Wonderettes, Mourning Becomes Electra, New York City Ballet, New York Philharmonic, Next to Normal, Pal Joey, Patti Austin at Brooklyn Center; Paul Taylor Dance Company, The Phantom of the Opera, Reasons to be Pretty, Rock of Ages, Ruined, Shrek: The Musical; Speed the Plow, Spring Awakening and Uncle Vanya.

So don't miss this great opportunity to see great theater at great prices.

NEW YORK TIMES DISCOUNTS

The New York Times is offering a 60 percent discount ($.40/per day Monday-Saturday, $2.50 on Sunday) for home or office subscriptions to all faculty, staff, and students.

Here's how it works. Unlike traditional subscriptions, the education rate can be set up by semester or in a combination that best reflects your schedules for both delivery and billing. New School faculty, staff, and students can have a subscription Monday-Friday, Sunday only, weekends only, or any combination.

To take advantage of the special discount to the Times or to change a current subscription, students, faculty (full-time and part-time), and staff should contact the customer service center at 888.NYT.COLL, to order a single subscription or a classroom subscription of up to eight copies for required reading in the classroom.

To order a classroom subscription of eight or more copies for required reading in the classroom, contact the education program's customer service center at 800.631.1222.

WOULDN'T YOU LIKE TO SAVE TIME AND MONEY ON ENTERTAINMENT?

As a member of The New School, you have access to exclusive entertainment benefits through Plum Benefits! From theater and dance to sports and comedy, you can use this benefit to save time and money when ordering tickets for great seats to the hottest events in town! Log on 24/7 to enjoy:

Exclusive offers for premiere entertainment
Discounts of up to 50% off
Access to hard-to-get seats
Cost-free service
No ticket-ordering obligations
Easy ticket ordering
Helpful Customer Service at www.plumbenefits.com, 212.660.1888, or contact@plumbenefits.com

Already Signed Up to View Your Entertainment Benefits Online?
Log in now at www.plumbenefits.com to view this month's entertainment offers.

Not Yet Signed Up to View Your Entertainment Benefits Online?
Simply visit www.plumbenefits.com, click the "Sign-Up Now" button and follow the on-site instructions to create your profile and password. Registration is free and takes just a few moments-all you need is your groupwise email address.

 


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