Columbia Journalism School

Arts and Culture 2016

In this three-week (15 day) course, students will learn about professional practices, ethics, and standards for writing about the arts, whether as reporters, bloggers, re-cappers or critics. Making our primary resource the vast, diverse, and superb New York City cultural scene, the program combines site visits, performances, and guest speakers with classroom workshops to immerse students in the doing of arts journalism.

The course is designed for undergraduates and recent graduates with curiosity, strong writing skills, and a love of the arts: the budding journalist who follows movies ardently, the long-time ballet student who wonders about reporting, the video-game geek with an urge to review, the business major with a jones for jazz: anyone who wants to learn more about the arts in one of the great cultural capitals of the world and learn how to share that knowledge with readers.

Students will complete a series of assignments: reported stories, reviews, and exercises. Each student will also take a turn blogging about each day’s activities on a next-day deadline. Pieces will go through rewrites and revisions with the goal of being published on the NYC-Arts-Intensive tumblr. Students will also be expected to complete daily reading assignments of exemplary articles.

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Our curriculum

Alisa Solomon, Professor & Director, Arts Concentration M.A. program

Alisa Solomon directs the Arts & Culture concentration in the M.A. program at the Journalism School, and she developed the curriculum for the Arts & Culture Writing Workshop. She came to Columbia in 2005 after nearly 20 years as a professor of English/Journalism at Baruch College-CUNY and as a professor in the Ph.D. programs in Theater and in English at the CUNY Graduate Center. In addition to contributing occasionally to The Nation, The Forward, The New York Times, and other publications, she was on staff at The Village Voice for 21 years, where she was a regular theater critic and cultural and political reporter, winning awards for stories on reproductive rights, electoral politics, women's sports, and immigration policy. For radio, she has contributed theater commentaries to WNYC and has served for more than a decade as a contributor to the weekly program "Beyond the Pale: Radical Jewish Culture and Politics" (WBAI).

Solomon's book, "Re-Dressing the Canon: Essays on Theater and Gender," won the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. She is the editor of three anthologies: "Wrestling with Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict" (with Tony Kushner); "Theater and Social Change" (Theater, 31:3); and "The Queerest Art: Essays on Lesbian and Gay Theater" (with Framji Minwalla). Most recently, she edited and wrote the Introduction to “The Reverend Billy Project: From Rehearsal Hall to Super Mall with the Church of Life After Shopping,” by Bill Talen and Savitri D. Solomon holds a doctorate in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism from Yale.  Her new book, "Wonder of Wonders: A Cultural History of Fiddler on the Roof," came out from Metropolitan Books/Holt in October 2013.



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