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Student Reviews

Find informative student essays about arts and cultural events, institutions, and internships. Read what your fellow students have to say about the arts, or add your voice.

Let your creative voice out, and join our writing team! We encourage submissions about current museum exhibitions, dance and theater performances, or talks and lectures. For more information on contributing a review, email Rebecca Popp, Associate Director for Program Administration, at:

Japan Society
As the two-year anniversary of the disaster approaches,  Japan Society presents “Nocturne: Reemergence through Music,” a concert exploring the impact and aftermath of the tsunami.  Arts Initiative student staffer Caroline Chen CC’15 sat down with Erika Mitsui, a sophomore in the Columbia-Juilliard Exchange program, to talk about her experience as a violinist and her involvement in the upcoming concert at Japan Society.
I didn’t grow up in New York, or even in the United States. So before Wednesday afternoon my sole point of reference for the world’s fairs of the thirties was Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, in which two characters enjoy a tryst in the middle of the Democracity exhibit at the Perisphere, the iconic globe at the centre of the New York World’s Fair of 1939-40.
Just beside the gates at 116th Street and Broadway, right here on Columbia’s campus, is one of New York City’s most highly regarded, award-winning music venues. Maybe you’ve visited with your Music Hum class; supported your friends in the CU Orchestra, Jazz Ensembles, or Ballet Collaborative; or taken advantage of $7 CU student tickets to a jazz or Composer Portraits concert.
I smelled an exhibit today. Yes, that’s right, “smelled.” Let me elaborate. In the realm of the arts we rely on our sense of sight to perceive visual works, our sense of touch to feel textures, our sense of hearing to experience music, and our sense of taste to sample the culinary arts.
Live at Lerner’s Sounds series has sometimes struck me as a musical blind date. The performers – usually up-and-coming NYC-based talent – can look just a little out of their element, playing a lunchtime gig squashed against the piano lounge’s baby grand. The students are a shy, enthusiastic audience, most of whom will not have heard of the band before seeing a tastefully designed poster in the Hamilton stairwell.
Musical Mentors Collaborative, a student-run organization based primarily at Columbia, held their end-of-semester recital Saturday, December 15, to celebrate the progress of their students.  
The Jewish Museum
Perhaps the best way to appreciate one of the Jewish Museum’s current exhibits, Crossing Borders: Manuscripts from the Bodleian Libraries, is to learn a little bit more about why—apart from being, at nearly a thousand years old, inconceivably ancient and on display for our 21st century eyes to see—the books in the show are so remarkable.
Studio Museum in Harlem
Last Friday evening, the Studio Museum in Harlem opened its doors to the Columbia community for an Arts Initiative-hosted Columbia Night. The event focused on its current exhibitions Fore which featured artwork from two Columbia SOA graduates and was co-curated by a recent GSAS alum.
International Center of Photography
Seeking a worthwhile procrastination trip for your free hours during reading week?
A favourite Stephen Sondheim lyric of mine: “There ought to be clowns; send in the clowns.” Daniele Finzi Pasca would approve.


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