Arts & Entertainment
In the tough-to-crack world of Hollywood, screenwriter Joe Hauler fosters creativity, connections and community with Northwestern University Entertainment Alliance-West, the Los Angeles–based club for alumni in the entertainment industry. He helps guide the club by blending educational programs with networking events and performance opportunities, such as the popular Storytellers live event series, which has empowered more than 60 alumni to craft and present over 150 stories on stage.
Hired in June 2021 as the first Black chief curator at the Guggenheim, Naomi Beckwith oversees the museum’s collections, exhibitions, publications, and curatorial programs and archives. And, importantly, she strives to create a more inclusive collection that reflects the diverse community the contemporary art museum serves.
When Erin Gilchrist started digging through hundreds of 16 mm film and VHS recordings of Northwestern musical performances, she discovered some unexpected gems. Take the Second Annual Hoffnung Festival, a spoof of classical music concerts that in April 1980 featured a Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble performance on three vacuums, a floor cleaner and four rifles. “That was not at all what I expected,” says Gilchrist, a digital curation and metadata assistant.
A self-taught filmmaker, Angelo Madsen Minax ’12 MFA says he “sort of tripped into filmmaking through activism.” Six years after earning his bachelor’s in fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Minax was keeping busy — editing videos full-time for Beyondmedia Education, a social justice organization that provides media tools to underserved youth; working odd jobs at coffee shops; and playing in a couple of bands. While on tour with a bluegrass band, “we made a feature documentary about 21 transgender musicians in the U.S.
David Ellis ’93 JD is not only the youngest-serving justice on the Illinois Appellate Court — he’s also a bestselling crime novelist. Inspired by the courtroom drama he’s observed throughout his career, Ellis has written a number of bestsellers and says he owes his legal and writing success to his law school experience.
After learning how to bake alongside a Parisian chef during her study abroad year, Melanie Moss launched Mini Melanie, a direct-to-consumer bakery in New York City delivering custom cakes, cake pops, brownies, truffles and more nationwide. Since then, Moss has appeared on popular Food Network shows Chopped and Beat Bobby Flay — and she’s not stopping there.
Northwestern Intersections is an award-winning podcast from the Northwestern Alumni Association featuring alumni who share the key experiences that have propelled them in their life’s work. The podcast, which has highlighted more than 120 alumni of all ages, degrees and backgrounds so far, is releasing new episodes this fall.
A new student film incubator at Northwestern’s School of Communication is shining a light on how mental health is depicted in TV, movies and other media. The initiative was made possible by a grant from the Pritzker Pucker Family Foundation and Jessy Pucker ’19.
Video games are artistic at their core — and rapidly evolving as a medium. Northwestern alums have been in the industry since its very early days, creating new, immersive experiences that tell stories in innovative ways.
As executive producer of ‘Ted Lasso,’ Liza Katzer ’08 is involved in nearly every aspect of making the hit AppleTV+ series. And while the success of 'Ted Lasso' has led to a lot of other opportunities, the senior vice president of Doozer Productions remains keenly aware of the challenges she faced in her early-career years and the lessons she’s learned along the way.