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Arts & Entertainment

Northwestern professor Melissa Foster ’96, ’01 MMus believes rap music should be accessible to everyone. She explains why she finds the genre so inspiring — and why learning its history is critical to becoming a good rapper.

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Michelle Foster leans against a brick wall, wearing a white turtleneck top, oblong hoop earrings and a necklace. She is smiling and holding a copy of her book.

Timeless Threads

Spring 2024
In her senior honors thesis, art history major Elizabeth Dudley explores the influence of technology — from the invention of the sewing machine to the rise of social media — on fashion and aesthetic trends. She focuses on cottagecore, an aesthetic reflecting a pastoral way of life that exploded in popularity during the pandemic.

Learn about cottagecore

Elizabeth Dudley smiles in a forested area wearing a floral crown and an off-shoulder smocked white top with a dark pink spaghetti-strapped dress over it.
When his dreams of directing theater fizzled, Art Johnston ’75 MFA instead took up the fight for queer rights in Chicago. Together with his husband, Pep Peña, he co-founded Sidetrack, an innovative gay bar that’s now the largest in the Midwest, and lobbied for passage of groundbreaking civil rights laws that have made Chicago a welcoming place for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Get to know Johnston

Art Johnston sits on a barstool in Sidetrack. He is smiling and looking slightly away from the camera to his left. Behind him is a neon sign displaying the name Sidetrack.
Maya-Camille Broussard ’04 MA is the owner of the Chicago-based bakery Justice of the Pies and a star on the Netflix show Bake Squad. In this Q&A, she discusses the inspiration behind her pie flavors, the social issues close to her heart and how she’s worked to make her bakery an accessible place for people living with disabilities.

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Maya-Camille Broussard smiles at the camera while holding a strawberry basil key lime pie topped with fresh strawberries, on a serving tray. She wears a black and white polka-dotted dress and stands in front of a white and black polka-dotted wall.
Music is integral to the plot of Down Below, an in-progress feature film by independent filmmakers Collin Davis ’11 and Matthew Valdez Litwiller ’11. In October 2023, Davis and Litwiller called upon Northwestern student musicians to record two original works for the film in Galvin Recital Hall.

Dive deeper

Down Below director of photography Travis LaBella operates a camera while Northwestern student musicians perform original works.
University Archives is home to documents, artifacts and mementos that showcase the rich history of Northwestern and its community, “items that will help people better understand the University we love,” says University Historian Kevin Leonard ’77, ’82 MA. The collections span 25,000 linear feet and include everything from a limited-edition Northwestern University Barbie to a real taxidermized wildcat.

Explore the archives

Man walking down a hallway in Northwestern's Archives Vault
After reporter Lauren Chooljian published a story on a COVID outbreak at New Hampshire’s Granite Recovery Centers (GRC), clients and employees of GRC began reaching out to her, alleging that GRC CEO and founder Eric Spofford had been sexually harassing and assaulting clients and colleagues — and paying people to keep quiet. Reported and produced by Chooljian, The 13th Step podcast delves into the allegations against Spofford and why sexual misconduct is pervasive in recovery settings.

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Lauren Chooljian wears headphones while sitting at a desk in a radio studio. There is a microphone at her right labeled “NHPR.”
When the Northwestern alum left journalism in 2018, he joked to a friend that he would only come back to news if he could report on Taylor Swift every day. Five years later, his dream is a reality.

Meet Bryan West

Taylor Swift and Bryan West stand next to each other against a backdrop of golden curtains. Swift’s hand is resting on West’s shoulder. They are both smiling at the camera.

View Finder

Winter 2024
Driven to capture rare and unexpected images of fragile landscapes, Los Angeles-based photographer Josh Anon has had his share of awe-inspiring encounters with wildlife around the world. Anon, a Roblox product lead by day, has captured images of penguins, polar bears, walruses and much more.

See his photos

penguins on ice in antarctica
Sheinelle Jones, co-host of the “3rd Hour of Today,” is one of a handful of Black women helming a national TV broadcast. And she thinks it’s important for people to see her full self: accomplished, Black, a woman, a mother, a daughter, a wife, a volunteer, a pray-er, a proud Midwesterner, and a human who embraces joy, who sometimes falters, sometimes loses her nerve — but persists nonetheless.

Get to know Jones

Sheinelle smiles big with a microphone