Published Work

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to take a walk through Prince: The Immersive Experience

Walking into one of the interactive spaces at Prince: The Immersive Experience, guests are invited into a replica of Prince’s Purple Rain album cover with a black motorcycle sitting in front of a dimly lit building. Smoke fills the room where guests can sit atop the iconic motorcycle and rev the engine as if they were the award-winning artist, Prince. “I hope [Prince: The Immersive Experience] celebrates who he was. That to me is the biggest thing, is celebrating Prince and all facets of who he

Masters of a ping pong speakeasy square off in an eclectic basement court

Editor’s note: This article is from the Communication Department’s award-winning Echo magazine. A black, unmarked door sits next to an Anytime Fitness, with no hint of what lies behind it. To enter, visitors must make a phone call to ping pong coach Ardy Taveerasert, who will then open the door to an entryway that leads to his table tennis club, ChiSlam. The corridor echoes with the sound of ping pong balls popping to and from players. In a room at the bottom of a set of dimly-lit stairs, club

For Women, By Women gives voice to ‘muted, overlooked’ female Columbia artists

During the opening remarks of the For Women, By Women art gallery, co-curator and senior photography major Corinne Pompéy held back tears as the gallery’s mission to uplift Columbia women artists had come to fruition. “[The gallery] is just everything that I’ve ever pictured that it could possibly be,” Pompéy said. “Just that [we] were able to bring so many people together and to support one another and create such a safe space is exactly our goal, and to see it here is heartwarming.” The open

An Unspoken Affair: ‘Betrayal’ uses ASL to tell the story of a love affair

In the opening scene of the theatre production “Betrayal,” Emma and Jerry, the main characters, begin a conversation in American Sign Language. Emma, who is Deaf, shares her concerns with Jerry about the affair they have been having. The actor playing her, Kayla Casiano — a first-year acting major — is also Deaf. “My character Emma, [is] very smart and brilliant, [she is] very private … and poised about the affair,” Casiano said. “Also her character happens to be Deaf, just like me.” “Betraya

Sit back, relax and laugh: Columbia Laughs hosts Columbia’s first comedy festival

The sounds of an electric keyboard and the voice of senior comedy major Ron Hexagon reverberated throughout the third floor of the Student Center, as he performed original songs such as “Bananas” and “Constellation: Friendship.” “I love music, and I love comedy, and usually they’re separate,” Hexagon said. “It’s really interesting and funny to me that I do music that is silly, entertaining [and] goofy.” Hexagon, along with 11 other student performers in Columbia’s first annual Columbia Laughs

Immersive Frida Kahlo celebrates the artist’s fight for female empowerment

As the tall, white curtains of the Immersive Frida Kahlo exhibit open, visitors hear the sounds of classically-composed music which draws them into a walk-through digital experience of paintings and self-portraits by Frida Kahlo. “The show is very intense, but in a way that isn’t overwhelming,” said Jack Braithwaite, a junior photography major and shift lead, who supervises daily operations at the LightHouse ArtSpace Chicago. “I think the most impactful thing is just seeing how she represented

Behind the curtain: Three women who shaped Columbia’s history

Deep in the roots of Columbia’s history, it was three women — Mary A. Blood, Ida Morey Riley and later Jane Alexandroff — whose leadership and work as founders and pioneers in their field shaped the college into what it is today. Columbia started as the Columbia School of Oratory in 1890, founded by Blood and Riley, who were both instructors and graduates of Emerson College. The two women had a vision to teach public speaking, among other subjects, using principles they learned from their educa

Border crossings and missile alerts: Volunteers create website with resources for Ukrainians fleeing the country

During a school day in rural Scotland, Benjamin McEwan said he was following the story on the crisis in Ukraine, and while at lunch he asked himself: “Is there anything I can do?” After having a conversation with his friend James Kitching, he found a link in a Reddit thread Kitching created, which brought him to a Discord server for a tech initiative, TechForUkraine, and he shared it with his followers. “After school, I went to check the server, and there were 200 people on it, so that was pre

Q&A: Dawn Turner shares the heartache, passion behind her latest book ‘Three Girls from Bronzeville’

In Dawn Turner’s latest book, “Three Girls from Bronzeville,” the reader is taken through the personal journey of Turner’s experience growing up with her sister Kim and friend Debra, and their shared experiences of facing “race, fate and sisterhood.” Turner begins this story by describing her early childhood days playing in the summer sun in Bronzeville with Kim and Debra, then walks the reader through how life took the trio down three different routes. Turner also shares her experience growing

Review: Lakeview’s 2D Restaurant provides an entertaining, illusionary eating experience

Walking down North Halsted Street, the 2D Restaurant screams its existence as it pops out from its darker-toned, brick-covered neighboring buildings. With a bright, white facade and hand-drawn “2D Restaurant” logo, the restaurant sits ready to show off its environmental artistry. The 2D restaurant, 3155 N. Halsted St., opened Feb. 22 in Lakeview and welcomes customers to experience its hand-drawn and comic-like decor while ordering an item from its growing food and drink menu. While waiting for

Laughing for a good cause: Comedy students pair with Visible Faces to help the homeless

A lineup of 12 comedic acts stood behind the curtain of Columbia’s Getz Theatre waiting for the spotlight to shine on them during a special event organized to help the homeless. The stand-up comedy special, held Feb. 25 in partnership with the homeless care project Visible Faces, was promoted as the first mainstage stand-up event at the Getz Theatre Center, 72 E. 11th St. While the show was free to attend, attendees were encouraged to bring donations for Visible Faces to hand out to the homele

Columbia mask requirement to continue for ‘foreseeable future’

Masks will continue to be a requirement in classrooms and inside campus buildings for the foreseeable future. The announcement that Columbia will continue to enforce mask-wearing on campus was sent via collegewide email and also discussed during the Feb. 11 Faculty Senate meeting, after Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the state’s mask mandate will be lifted Feb. 28. An email from the Incident Assessment Task Force sent to students, faculty and staff on Feb. 10 said the decision was made

Student Athletics Association groups co-host clothing swap, providing sustainable and free clothing options for students

Piles of graphic tees, sweaters and an assortment of bottoms covered the tops of plastic picnic tables organized throughout the fifth floor auditorium in the Student Center. Students from all majors crowded around the tables looking at their options as they traded their own clothes for something fresh, all for free. “We know that everybody at Columbia loves clothing and is really fashion-oriented,” said Sage Brahmstedt, president of the Renegades Outdoor Collective and a junior cinema and telev

Signs you might be the rebound in a relationship

During a relationship that lasted through the summer of 2020, Spencer Washington, a creative writing graduate student, started seeing the red flags of their relationship with someone who had only been single for a few months. “I knew I was a rebound when they kept bringing up their ex, and then when I tried to be affectionate with them, they would pull away,” Washington said. “I felt that if they liked me enough, they would want to be affectionate and talk about serious things, like, ‘Are we to

‘I just feel left out’: Asexual-identifying students balance identity and misconceptions

When first-year film and television major Charlie Warren came out as asexual, they were in the car with their mom. “So you’re gay?” Warren’s mom responded. “I had to explain to her I was still interested in guys, but I didn’t want to have sex with or wasn’t attracted to them,” Warren said. “She still didn’t really understand it.” The term asexuality describes someone who has never had sexual attraction for others. Asexuality is closely related to aromanticism, which refers to someone who does

Columbia student makes $300,000 selling NFTs using only an iPhone

The first NFT Elise Swopes, a senior arts management and graphic design major, took was from a helicopter flying over New York City. Using only her iPhone to shoot and edit the NFT, she made it look as if a waterfall was actively falling from the edge of the city. She sold this piece in February 2020 for 11 ETH, or the equivalent of $17,000 at the time. NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, are digital representations of ownership or rights to original pieces of content or art. Swopes, still using only

From Picture Frame, To 8 Inch Screen — Frank XI

The first time John Bohlin, a Columbia fine art graduate student, came to Chicago, he was enthralled by a virtual reality art exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibit only required you to sit and put on a pair of headphones to experience another reality. “The work itself didn’t exist physically, only its mode of presentation,” he says. “And now we don’t even need a headset to experience augmented realities, just a phone, just a screen really.” Artists were once completely reliant on hoping a gallery would pick up their art for it to be shared with any audience. This has shifted with the obvious rise in social media consumption. While this provides an easy way to share art with a broader audience, this leaves artists with the question of how innovative or admired their art can be as it will primarily be seen through the quick consumption on a smartphone screen.
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Unpublished Work

Stuck in a hula hoop: How children's ballet schools reopened their doors for in-person classes

“Can you blow up your bubble for me?” Misha Woodward asks her two-year-old ballet students. “That's our special bubble; we don't want to pop our friends' bubbles. We've got to keep them extra safe.” These ballet students dressed in their poofy tutus, perfect ballerina buns and face masks sit criss-crossed on their pink polka-dot taped to the floor that’s designed to keep them six feet from other students. Ms. Misha, as her ballerinas call her, sits on the opposite side of the lavender and bubblegum pink colored room as she directs her students to stretch out as they prepare an imaginary pizza.

'We're surviving:' How parents of children with special needs adjusted to the initial shutdown

Chicago parent Ali Goodman was able to deftly juggle career and family responsibilities until the coronavirus outbreak thrust her into a situation requiring all of her attention and energy. “We’re surviving,” said Goodman, mother of six-year-old Jackson who was diagnosed with autism at age three and two-year-old Jordan. “How are we more tired now than we were before? They require more brain power to keep them entertained all day.” Goodman is one of a number of Chicago parents who were turned into homeschool teachers of their children with special needs by the pandemic. Tackling challenges such as adjusting to a new routine and juggling being a mom, remote working, now homeschool teacher and personal therapist.