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Arts & Entertainment

The Fourth Plinth, London: Northwestern artist Michael Rakowitz unveiled a 14-foot statue of the Lamassu, a winged Assyrian deity with the body of a bull and the head of a human, at the Fourth Plinth in London last March. Created from 9,000 steel cans of Iraqi date syrup, the piece is part of Rakowitz’s larger project The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist, which uses ephemera to represent and commemorate lost Iraqi artifacts.

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The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist michael rakowitz fourth plinth v2
The former viola performance major turned Broadway star won the 2018 Tony Award for best performance by an actress in a musical for “The Band’s Visit.” In this interview she shares how she transitioned from music performance to theater, how she focuses her creative energies and the life lessons she learned at Northwestern.

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tony award winner katrina lenk
A few years back, classmates Hana Schank ’93 and Elizabeth Wallace ’93 met for dinner and realized that they were both orbiting around a crisis. Since their undergraduate days, they had been told to dream big.

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schank and wallace
Educator Jessica Stovall ’14 MA features prominently in Steve James’ 10-part documentary series America to Me, which follows a dozen students through life at suburban Chicago’s Oak Park and River Forest High School. James began filming the project in 2015 as a way to explore how students, teachers and staff are addressing decades-long racial and educational inequities.

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jessica stovall

'Shroom Art

Fall 2018
The San Francisco–based art collective FoldHaus enlisted tech help from then-undergrad Bomani McClendon ’17 when it was building Shrumen Lumen for Burning Man 2016. McClendon, now a software engineer for Facebook, worked as a programmer on the 12- to 18-foot tall mushrooms, which are now on display at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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shrumen lumen
People often ask Robert Simonson, the New York Times cocktail writer for more than a decade, what drinks he makes at his home bar. His latest book, 3-Ingredient Cocktails: An Opinionated Guide to the Most Enduring Drinks in the Cocktail Canon, helps answer that question.

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robert simonson three-ingredient cocktails
Last April the School of Communication assembled a star-studded cast for A Starry Night. The evening performance brought together some of Northwestern’s most famous entertainment alumni, including Ana Gasteyer ’89, Heather Headley ’97, Brian d’Arcy James ’90, Richard Kind ’78, Harry Lennix ’86, Tony Roberts ’61 and, of course, Stephen Colbert ’86, ’11 H, who hosted the night of merriment.

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commfest a starry night brings together famous entertainment alumni
“There’s a certain symmetry between law and history,” says Sam Kleiner ’09, a New York lawyer and author of The Flying Tigers: The Untold Story of the American Pilots Who Waged a Secret War Against Japan. As a child, Kleiner had heard stories about World War II from his grandfather, who had been a navigator on a B-25.

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sam kleiner horiz
Why has Northwestern generated such a wealth of talent in the late-night news-comedy arena? While Stephen Colbert ’86, ’11 H and Seth Meyers ’96, ’16 H cite the influence of professors, and Robin Thede gives credit to the journalism program for teaching her to write, cross-pollination of students and classes in different fields may also be key. There’s also the Chicago factor — the city is a hotbed of comedy clubs and improv, from Second City to iO Theater to Zanies.

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Get ready to clutch your pearls! Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications graduate Robin Thede’s late-night show, The Rundown with Robin Thede, with its mix of political commentary, black cultural observations and a body roll or two, is quite possibly the stuff Emmys are made of.

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robin thede