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Arts & Entertainment

Members of Knitwestern build community while honing their knitting skills and giving back to local organizations. Open to students and community members alike, the knitting and crocheting club operates on the premise that anyone can learn to knit.

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Illustration of a knitted square with Northwestern's "N"
Kyra Kyles ’98, ’98 MS is CEO of YR Media, an educational center for aspiring music producers, podcasters, journalists and multimedia content creators. Kyles opened a new YR Media regional facility in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, offering training programs, paid internships and state-of-the-art audio and video production technology to young people from Chicago, Detroit and other Midwestern cities.

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Kyra Kyles stands in front of a mural with her hand on her hip.
Darsan Swaroop Bellie ’22, who holds a dual degree in jazz studies and physics from Northwestern, is a fellow at the University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA), where he conducts research on gravitational waves, compact objects and cosmology. Merging his seemingly disparate passions, he created the Star Eyes Initiative, a jazz group that uses original compositions to communicate scientific concepts in a digestible way, for audiences of all ages.

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Darsan Swaroop Bellie poses with a Yamaha drum set in front of a white background.
In 1973, two Northwestern students assembled the cast and crew of Northwestern’s first-ever Mee-Ow Show, originally conceptualized as a new outlet for creatives who felt limited by existing campus performance options. Half a century later, the show — and its ever-growing repertoire of successful alumni, from Julia Louis-Dreyfus ’82, ’07 H to Seth Meyers ’96, ’16 H — is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a spring 2024 reunion.

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Members of the 1977 Mee-Ow Show cast pose in front of the marquee at Evanston’s Varsity Theater, photo in black and white.
Whether you know her as NPR radio host Margaret Jo on Saturday Night Live or Cady Heron’s mom in Mean Girls, odds are you know — and love — Ana Gasteyer’s work. Last May, the actor, comedian and singer returned to campus and sat down with Northwestern Magazine’s Clare Milliken to discuss her own career and tips for aspiring artists.

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Ana Gasteyer sits in a row of auditorium chairs, smiling with her legs crossed.
Racheli Galay ’07 DMA is a founding member of Quartetoukan, a Jewish-Arab quartet whose music reflects the multicultural, multilingual society in Israel. A classically trained cellist who specializes in Jewish music, Galay has toured Israel, Germany and Spain with Quartetoukan since 2012, performing songs in Arabic, Hebrew, English and Yiddish that promote harmony and peace.

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Racheli Galay poses with her cello, smiling.
After booking his biggest acting role yet, Charlie Oh ’16 felt an itch to be part of something that better reflected the contemporary Asian American experience. He wrote a play about a Korean family on an all-American road trip, incorporating themes of identity, assimilation and legacy.

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The cast of Coleman ’72 acts as if they are sitting in a car together.
Kevin Hoban ‘09 and Jordan Simkovic ‘09 make music as Captain & Cat, a musical duo producing educational songs and videos for kids. The duo recently won the 2022 John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize.

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Musical duo Kevin Hoban and Jordan Simkovic sit in front of a podcast mic smiling, with their guitars behind them.
One of the first “backpack journalists,” Kevin Sites ’89 MS covered conflicts and disasters across the globe, including a yearlong endeavor to cover every conflict region in the world. Those experiences informed his debut novel, The Ocean Above Me, about an emotionally traumatized war correspondent who finds himself fighting for his own life — and confronting his past mistakes — during a harrowing shipwreck.

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kevin sites
Literature can help us make sense of life’s biggest questions. And no one did that better than the great Russian novelists, says professor Gary Saul Morson.

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Gary Saul Morson