Arts & Entertainment
For her first feature-length film, ‘Being BeBe,’ documentary filmmaker Emily Branham ’02 spent 15 years chronicling the unconventional story of drag performer Marshall Ngwa, aka BeBe Zahara Benet, an immigrant from Cameroon and the first winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Three-and-a-half decades after she founded the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Barbara Gaines ’68 will step down as its artistic director this March. But thanks to her efforts over the years, the Tony Award–winning theater will go on with the show — putting on as many 20 productions and 650 performances each year on its three stages.
ESPN legends Mike Greenberg and Michael Wilbon are part of a loud and proud network of Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications alumni in sports journalism. We talked with several prominent and up-and-coming sports media stars about how serendipitous timing put them in the right place to do groundbreaking reporting — and how sports reporting helps us understand broader societal issues.
In the early 1940s, Northwestern became the first American university to offer a major and master’s degree in marimba. Under the tutelage of renowned marimba virtuoso Clair Omar Musser, several student marimba groups formed at Northwestern, including the Marimba Coeds (also called the Marimba Madcaps), an all-women orchestra.
After graduating from Northwestern, Aarti Sequeira ’00 started her own cooking show on YouTube and has since become a Food Network mainstay, winning the sixth season of Food Network Star in 2010 and beating out the competition on Chopped All-Stars, Cutthroat Kitchen: Superstar Sabotage and Guy’s Grocery Games. Now she shares two family recipes close to her heart: tandoori chicken and raita.
A classical singer and writer, Solomon-Glover ’79 spent the past five years writing and workshopping the libretto for a one-act opera about the life of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977). "This Little Light of Mine" will premiere at the Santa Fe Opera on October 28, 2022, for three nights only.
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.
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.