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Arts & Entertainment

Snorkeling, tightrope walking, woodworking and competitive whistling — you won’t believe what Northwestern community members are up to outside of the classroom and office!

Check out these hobbies

Portrait of Jeffery Coleman curling

All That Jazz

Winter 2024
This winter, Nitasha Tamar Sharma offers a new Black studies course for students: New Black Music in Chicago: Artists’ Reflections on Music, Race and Entrepreneurship. Students will organize a free public jazz event for the community, which will take place March 4 as part of the Department of Black Studies’ annual Leon Forrest Lecture Series.

Read the story

Portrait of grammy-nominated harpist Brandee Younger playing the harp

Light the Way

Winter 2024
Lauren Dandridge Gaines ’04 is co-founder and principal of Chromatic, a Los Angeles–based lighting design firm working at the intersection of architecture and social justice.

Read more about Gaines’ work

Michelin-starred restaurant asterid in the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles
Northwestern alum Aspen Buckingham ’23 and senior economics major Steven Jiang are the creators of Intervallic, a new video game changing the way aspiring musicians can practice their skills. Both musicians, Buckingham and Jiang are making practice into entertainment.

Let’s play!

Screencap of the video game Intervallic
What do a biography of Martin Luther King Jr., an award-winning poetry collection and a bestselling mystery about the dark side of love have in common? They were all written by Northwestern alumni.

Read more about the new directory

A man wearing glasses and a suit smiles while signing a book.
With his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and storied career as a writer, actor, director and producer, Garry Marshall ’56 made an indelible mark on American film and TV. His legacy lives on at Northwestern with the donation of the Garry Marshall Papers to University Archives.

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Portrait of Gary Marshall from Northwestern’s 1956 Syllabus yearbook.
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong ’96 has written seven books on pop culture history, including So Fetch: The Making of Mean Girls (And Why We’re Still So Obsessed With It), which comes out this January. Armstrong identifies ​​​​five TV and movie moments that have influenced today’s popular media.

Remember These?

After learning to DJ during quarantine, Karen Valencia ’15 broke into Chicago’s nightlife scene, bringing reggaeton beats to some of the trendiest clubs. She shares how Northwestern shaped her worldview, what she loves most about DJing and more.

Get to know Valencia

Headshot of Karen Valencia
Maryam Keshavarz never dreamed of becoming a filmmaker when she was a Northwestern student in the mid-1990s. The daughter of Iranian immigrants didn’t know that world existed.

Learn what inspired Keshavarz

filmmaker Maryam Keshavarz on the set of The Persian Version
The 2023 Northwestern Alumni Medal recipients — Roberta Buffett Elliott ‘54, Chris Galvin ’73, ’77 MBA and Charles S. Modlin Jr. ’83, ’87 MD — are leaders in philanthropy, business and health care.

Meet the medalists

Roberta Buffett Elliott sits smiling with her hands on her lap.