Juilliard alums represent at Golden Globes

Juilliard represents in nominations for Golden Globes

Two Juilliard alumni were honored with Golden Globe nominations on Monday—Viola Davis (Group 22) for her performance in Fences and Jessica Chastain (Group 32) for her performance in Miss Sloane. In addition, many Juilliard alumni are currently staff writers and/or producers on nominated shows. Drama alum Bryan Cogman (Group 30) is a writer and producer on Game of Thrones. Playwrighting alumni Kate Gersten ’13 and Aurin Squire ’15 are staff writers on nominated shows Mozart in the Jungle and This is Us, respectively.

Never Stop Fighting: Political Speeches Today in Paul Hall

Tomorrow in Paul Hall: “A collection of political speeches put together by the members of Drama Group 47 to fight the growing danger of our country’s divisive political climate.”

In this post-election 2016, our divided country is in need of some vital, if perhaps uncomfortable conversations. My Group at Juilliard has put together a collection of political speeches ranging from 1851 to 2016, and will be performing them on campus in Paul Hall. If you are a student, come. Juilliard’s President, Joseph Polisi, will be attending, and we want to show the school how important these issues on race, gender, patriotism, and climate change are to us.

If you are not a student of Juilliard, I’m afraid there’s not a way you can see this performance, but we urge you to create events like this in your own community. This event is geared to create a space of conversation and activism. There’s no more time to play catch up, and we have to speak to one another as a way to start the change we want to see. No one else is going to make steps forward unless you lead, so let’s all be leaders and challenge each other to do more, go farther, and never stop fighting.

Never Stop Fighting Poster

Mystery Exhibit feat. Chemical Properties + Optimism

Unknown maker places mystery art exhibit in hopes of spreading wintry joy, light, chemistry, and optimism to Juilliard students in the midst of finals. Higher authorities still either unaware of The Mystery’s existence or have greater capacity for humor than previously thought.

5th floor, glass case, adjacent to library. Unknown maker places mystery art exhibit in hopes of spreading wintry joy, light, chemistry, and optimism to Juilliard students in the midst of finals. Higher authorities still either unaware of The Mystery’s existence or have greater capacity for humor than previously thought. If in possession of leads or insights, contact Citizen Penguin.
#HangInThereItsAlmostWinterBreak!

Text of the placard:

“Unknown MAKER

Displacement, 2016
Oxygen, nitrogen, various other gases; argon, carbon dioxide, methane
Air collected from outside put inside; hence the title. This is clearly a joke and the placard wonders how long it will stay here until it is removed by higher authority. The real question is, what is this exhibit supposed to be? A REAL MYSTERY

Purchase, The Hang in There It’s Almost Winter Break! Foundation
Gift, 2016”

Percussion Buzzfeed Quiz. Concert Monday, 7:30 pm.

See the percussion ensemble’s concert at 7:30pm. But also take their Buzzfeed quiz:

Juilliard Percussion Ensemble
Daniel Druckman, director
Monday, December 5th 7:30 PM
Alice Tully Hall

GRISEY Tempus ex Machinus
FURRER Quartett
WALLIN Stonewave

Joe Bricker created the quiz. “I just wanted to to get people interested in our concert with a fun advertisement, Bricker said. “Percussion music doesn’t often get seen a lot so when we perform these really crucial works we try to get as many people out to the show as possible.”

 

Quiz 2Quiz 1

Dogs! SMR. 4pm.

Monday, December 5, 2016
4-6pm Student Multipurpose Room (105)

PUPPIES IN THE SMR!!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I REPEAT, NOT A DRILL.
Drop off your scripts, sonatas, salsa shoes for, like, 10 minutes or 2 hours. Relieve some stress with fluffy cuddles. No homework allowed. The puppies are waiting.

SMRDogs
Monday, December 5, 2016
4-6pm Student Multipurpose Room (105)

PUPPIES IN THE SMR!!! THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I REPEAT, NOT A DRILL.
Drop off your scripts, sonatas, salsa shoes for, like, 10 minutes or 2 hours. Relieve some stress with fluffy cuddles. No homework allowed. The puppies are waiting.

 

But why

 

 

 

VIDEO: Interview with Creators of the Film Festival at Juilliard

Nicholas Podany ’18 speaks with the creators of the Film Festival at Juilliard: David Corenswet ’16, Victoria Pollack ’17, Mallory Portnoy ’15 and Max Woertendyke ’15.

Nicholas Podany ’18 speaks with the creators of the Film Festival at Juilliard: David Corenswet ’16, Victoria Pollack ’17, Mallory Portnoy ’15 and Max Woertendyke ’15.

As of now, it’s sold out, but tickets could have been reserved here.

Trailer:

Juilliard Community Confronts Trump Presidency at Polisi Forum

As the mixed emotions of post-Election Day reached an unmatched level, Juilliard’s Office of Student Affairs invited the community to a forum facilitated by President Joseph Polisi on November 9 in the lobby of the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre on campus. As far as most current students and faculty could remember, meetings like this were rare. Similar gatherings coincided with faculty and student deaths, the attacks of September 11th, 2001, and the Vietnam War. Students and faculty filled up the lobby of the Peter Jay Sharp Theater, sitting on the floor, stairs, and all the way up to the mezzanine. Dr. Polisi stood in the center of the room speaking and responding to numerous questions and concerns.

Polisi opened the floor to passionate exclamations of fear, anger, pain, confusion, and desire for action from both students and faculty.  “People were upset, scared…overwhelmed, and I guess that’s to be expected when something this difficult for people to handle is happening,” said Joshua Elmore (BM ’20). At moments, it was difficult to find a single dry eye in the room as students struggled to predict what the future of this country or even each individual person’s safety entails. “Right now, I don’t even feel safe enough to leave this institution because I know that my body as a black, queer woman is in danger every day,” expressed Sekai Abeni (BFA ’20).

Polisi encouraged proactivity, emphasizing the step forward it would amount to “if every one of you, or half of you, for that matter, decided to become more politically active.” He also asked those present to try moving past the election results and consequently find ways to affect change during the reality of a Trump presidency. However, this solution appeared to be easier said than done for some. “I see somebody who’s just been elected to the presidency who has publicly been endorsed by the Klu Klux Klan, who has publicly spoken out against queer people, who has publicly been a racist figure and has been elected to the presidency,” said Abeni, explaining the difficulty of moving past this result.

One purpose of this gathering seemed to be to come together as a unified community and to console one another. As such, the meeting could not provide any reassurance of the post-election effects, which left some still feeling uneasy. “I really thought it was going to be a place that we could talk about what the next steps were, specifically in ensuring [Juilliard students’] safety and well-being,” Abeni told The Citizen-Penguin after the meeting, noting “how beautifully diverse this school is.”

Polisi addresses the Juilliard community at post-election forum. Photo: Manon Gage
Polisi addresses the Juilliard community at post-election forum. Photo: Manon Gage

Still, while many students despaired over Trump’s win, their sentiments were not unanimous. “Damning” conservative voters and blocking them on social media drew ire with student Brendan Thomas, especially given the Democrats’ message of tolerance. In a Facebook post quoted here with permission, Thomas said, “If you are pissed because they don’t have the same views as you [then] you are in return guilty of the same character flaws you are projecting onto your rival party voters. Food for thought.”

Many students believed that the meeting accomplished a strong sense of unity within the Juilliard community. The gathering felt “sad, angry, tense, yet cathartic,” Mitchell Kuhn (BM’17) said. “It was a beautiful moment in that it unified the voices of Juilliard. It provided a safe space to air out grievances, to feel upset, to show support.” To have such an opportunity to speak up, students were reminded of how they can unify as a community and as artists to stand up for what they believe in. The discussion turned to peaceful demonstrations, using art as a powerful tool.  “In six years, I’ve never felt more like I’m a part of a Juilliard community,” said Zach Green (MM ’17).

At the gathering, Dr. Polisi offered a call to arms for students to organize, saying Juilliard students “may be a new generation of leaders that we haven’t seen since the seventies.” He continued:

“Juilliard is here to support you and protect you and educate you. We care about you. But ultimately, the most powerful way that you can make a difference is to empower yourself. And once you have that discipline and power and match it with your abilities as artists, that can be a very powerful process. But it’s not going to be a quick process, either.”

ADD YOUR NAME: Post-Election Petition/Vow

We are individual alumni and current community members of the Juilliard School in New York. Whether or not we voted for the president-elect, we come together now to reject particular dangerous elements that arose during his campaign, elements which stand in opposition to our core values. We are taking this opportunity…

Add your name! Then share this petition with other alumni and current students, staff and faculty. Sign the vow in the form below or by clicking here.

****

We are individual alumni and current community members of the Juilliard School in New York. Whether or not we voted for the president-elect, we come together now to reject particular dangerous elements that arose during his campaign, elements which stand in opposition to our core values. We are taking this opportunity to reaffirm those values and to rededicate ourselves to our personal and collective missions.

As students of and makers of art, we understand the power and sacredness of the individual voice. We will fight to empower immigrants and their descendants, LGBTQ individuals, people of color, victims of sexual assault and women. We will defend the rights of each citizen for safety and free expression. Black lives matter to us. We understand the beauty and necessity of a chorus of voices, so we will seek out differing viewpoints and strive to understand those we seem furthest from.

We understand how volatile the history of the arts has been. When we sing songs of the conquerors or co-opted songs of the oppressed, we will strive to understand the context of what we are doing.

As citizens of the inescapable globe, we reject fear of foreigners and ignorance of science. We will welcome collaboration with Muslim performers. We will do our best to make decisions at the personal level that do not add to the physical deterioration of Earth. Where there is war, we will bring art. Where there is hate, we will bring love.

We will keep watch through this administration and beyond, and sound our alarm bells each time a step is taken that brings us closer to tyranny or genocide. From the community symphony to the global film market, we know that there is an opportunity for example of leadership at every stage of our careers and lives.

At and after Juilliard, in our rehearsals, negotiations, classes, gigs and interviews, we will embrace the principals of open collaboration and rigorous citizenship. We will ask ourselves whether our actions stand in harmony with our core values. We will speak out when others are oppressed. We will question our own stances and actions. When in doubt, we will listen.

We, the undersigned, stand united against hate, fear and fascism, and encourage our governments and our shared institution to do the same.

Brooks Baldwin, Drama, Group 3
Janet Zarish, Drama, Group 5
Henry Stram, Drama, Group 6
Michael Chieffo, Drama, Group 6
Rebecca Guy, Drama, Group 7
Heather Weiss, Drama, Faculty Production Stage Manager
Emil Awad, Music, 1982
Laura Brutsman-Busch, Drama, Group 12
Susan Finch, Drama, Group 13
Ana Valdes Lim, Drama, Group 13
Clinton Archambaukt, Drama, Group 13
Albert Farrar, Drama, Group 13
Edith Polvay Kallas, Music, 1984
Melissa Gallagher, Drama, Group 14
Bradley Whitford, Drama, Group 14
Gina Bonati, Dance, BFA 1985
Christopher Durang, Drama Faculty
Rene Houtrides, Drama Faculty
Deborah Hecht, Drama Faculty
Sarah Cimino, Drama Faculty
Kate Wilson, Drama Faculty
Elizabeth Smith, Drama Faculty
Mark Olsen, Drama Faculty
Barli Nugent, Music Faculty
Jeni Dahmus Farah, Archivist
Michelle DiBucci, Music/Drama Faculty
Howie Lien, Student Affairs Staff
Tamara B Goldstein, Music (Staff Accomp 87-90, MM 1987, Prep 76-79)
Pirronne Yousefzadeh, Theatre, Guest Director
Edith Wiens, Voice Faculty
Katie Friis, Dance Staff
Irene Dowd, Dance Faculty
Kaitlin Springston, Drama Staff
Oliver Butler, Drama Staff
Lindsey Alexander, Drama Staff
Robert Wilson, Liberal Arts Faculty
Cristina Sison, Drama, Production Stage Manager
Rosalind Newman, Dance Faculty
Aaron Jaffe, Liberal Arts Faculty
Christine Dunford, Drama, Group 16
Geoffrey Lower, Drama, Group 16
Kathleen McNenny, Drama, Group 17
Isadora OBoto (Gayla Finer), Drama, Group 17
Mark Doerr, Drama, Group 19
Christina Rouner, Drama, Group 20
Eddie Buggie, Dance, 1994
Timothy Sheridan, Playwright Fellow, 1994
Paul Whitthorne, Drama, Group 24
Matthew Greer, Drama, Group 24
Matt Daniels, Drama, Group 25
Ryan Artzberger, Drama, Group 25
T.J. Kenneally, Drama, Group 25
Bill Gross, Drama, Group 25
Claire Lautier, Drama, Group 25
Sean Arbuckle, Drama, Group 25
Christian Camargo, Drama, Group 25
Maya Francine Thomas, Drama, Group 25
Tyhm Kennedy, Drama, Group 25
Danyon Davis, Drama, Group 25 & Assistant to Head of Movement/ Physical Acting, Moni Yakim
Sarah Adriance, Dance, 1995
Sara Ramirez, Drama, Group 26
Tom Story, Drama, Group 27
Rivkah Raven Wood, Drama, Group 28
Daniel Breaker, Drama, Group 31
Matthew Damico, Drama, Group 31
Samantha Soule, Drama, Group 31
Peter Douglas, Drama, Group 35
Josiane Natalie Hulgan, Music, 2005
Cara Cook Ludwig, Drama, Group 37
Adam Szymkowicz, Playwriting ’07, Literary Manager
Alejandro Rodriguez, Drama, Group 38
Dylan Moore, Drama, Group 38
Sivan Magen, MM 2008
Adrian Rosas, Music 2010
Raymond J. Lustig, DMA Composition 2010
Chelsea Feltman, Music, 2011
J. Clint Allen, Drama, Group 41
Alex Hanna, Drama, Group 41
Claire Karpen, Drama, Group 41
Gabriella Goldstein, Drama, Group 41
Macy Sullivan, Dance, 2012
Julia Coronelli, Music, 2012
Helen Cespedes, Drama, Group 42
Katherine Ella Wood, Drama, Group 42
Claire Siebers, Drama, Group 43
Brittany Vicars, Drama, Group 43
Alex Breaux, Drama, Group 43
Sam Lilja, Drama, Group 43
Kate McGonigle, Drama, Group 43
John D Harnage, Dance, 2014
Emily Bohannon, Playwright, 2014
Michael Crowley, Drama, Playwright, 2014
Hilary Bettis, Drama, Playwright, 2015
Dustin Z West, Stage Management Intern, 2015
Jonathan Caren, Drama, Playwright
Mallory Portnoy, Drama, Group 44
Jasmine Batchelor, Drama, Group 44
Eliza Huberth, Drama, Group 44
Snmak, Drama, Group 44
Adam Langdon, Drama, Group 44
Mary Chieffo, Drama, Group 44
Kelsey McMahon, Drama, Group 44
Kelsey McMahon, Drama, Group 44, 2015
Marianne Rendon, Drama, Group 45
Aurin Autry Squire, Drama, 2015
Ben Laude, Music, 2015
Max Posner, Playwriting, 2015
Emily Tate, Dance, 2015
Geneva Mattoon, Stage Management Intern, 14/15
Francesca Carpanini, Drama, Group 45
David Corenswet, Drama, Group 45
Paton Ashbrook, Drama, Group 45
Jasminn Johnson, Drama, Group 45
Gwendolyn Ellis, Drama, Group 45
Madeleine Rogers, Drama, Group 45
Forrest Malloy, Drama, Group 45
Jimmie JJ Jeter, Drama, Group 45
Hannes Otto, Drama, Group 45
Brennan Clost, Dance, 2016
Nathan Alan Davis,Playwriting ’16
Abe Koogler, Playwriting 2016
Audrey Corsa, Drama, Group 46
Eric Harper, Drama, Group 46
Isabel Arraiza, Drama, 4th Year
Pilar Nicanora Witherspoon, Drama
Victoria Pollack, Drama, 2017
Stephanie Mareen, Drama, 2017
Lauren Kathryne Donahue, Drama, Group 46
Lorrin Brubaker, Dance, 2017
Alexandra Lillian Eliot, Dance, 2017
Riley O’Flynn, Dance, 2017
Dana Pajarillaga, Dance, 2017
Jessica Moss, Drama, Second Year Playwright
Robert Blumstein, Music, 2017
Adam Rothenberg, Music, 2017
Dan Chmielinski, Music, 2017
James Anthony Tyler, Playwright 2017
Robert Blumstein, Music, 2017
Nicolette Mavroleon, Music, Voice 2017
Sebastian Zinca, Music, 2017
Jameel Amir Martin, Music 2017
Amanda Lynn Bottoms, Vocal Arts, 2017
Mariella Haubs, Violin, 2017
Anne Qian Wang, Music 2017
Miles Mykkanen, Voice, 2013, 2015, 2017
Mitchell Kuhn, 2017, Oboe
Angela Falk, Dance, 2017
Zach Green, Music 2017
Evan Fisk, Dance, 2017
Kady Evanyshyn, Voice, 2017
Will Healy, M.M. Composition, 2nd Year
Immanuel Wilkins, Jazz Studies Saxophone
J.Q. Whitcomb, Jazz, 2017
Jeffery Miller, Juilliard Jazz BM ’18
Chance Jonas-O’Toole, Music, 2018
Daniel Joseph Parker, Music, 2018
Taylor Hampton, BM Percussion, 2018
Jonathan Payne, Playwrights 2018
Connor Kim, Music, 2018
Joey Lavarias, Music 2018
Katerina Eng, Dance 2018
Andrew Robert Munn, Vocal Arts, 2018
Max Michael Grafe, Music, 2018
William Socolof, Vocal Arts, 2018
Scout James, Drama, Group 47
Elizabeth McKnight, Drama, 47
Philip Stoddard, Drama, Group 47
Toney Goins, Drama, Group 47
Manon Gage, Drama, Group 47
Madhuri Shekar, Playwriting, 2018
Jake Faunce, Drama, Group 47
Brittany Bradford, Drama, Group 47
Daniel Davila, Drama, Group 47
Haley Robinson, Drama, Group 47
Anna Tullis, Drama, Group 47
Calvin Smith, Drama, Group 47
Alicia Crowder, Drama, Group 47
Jenny Rachel Weiner, Playwright
Leigha Sinnott, Drama, Group 47
Nicholas Podany, Drama, Group 47
Allen Tedder, Drama, Group 47
Thomas Woodman, Dance, 2018
Khady Sandria Gueye, Vocal Arts, 2019
Luke Sutliff, Vocal Arts, 2019
Joan Hofmeyr, Vocal Arts, Class of 2019
Jessica Niles, Voice, 2019
Phillip Solomon, Music 2019
Jan Fuller, Music, 2019
Jeremiah Blacklow, Music, 2019
Leerone Hakami, Music, 2019
Abigel Kralik, Music, 2019
Moscelyne Zia ParkeHarrison, Dance, 2019
Hayley Mertens, Dance, 2019
Mishael J Eusebio, Voice, 2019
Michelle Geffner, Voice, 2019
Clarissa Castaneda, Dance, 2019
Evan Rogers Rapaport, Dance, 2019
Tyler Cunningham,BM Percussion 2019
Jack Kay, Vocal Arts, 2019
Anthony Bowden, Drama, Group 48
David Rosenberg, Drama, Group 48
Tracie Thomason, Drama, Group 48
Suzannah Herschkowitz, Drama, Group 48
Sebastian Arroyo, Drama, Group 48
Nate Mann, Drama, Group 48
Keshav Moodliar, Drama, Group 48
Henry Jenkinson, Drama, Group 48
Darryl Gene Daughtry, Jr., Drama, Group 48
Ramzi, Drama, Group 48
Hannah Caton, Drama, Group 48
Melissa Golliday, Drama, Group 49
Maya Thurman-Hawke, Drama, Group 49
Sekai Abeni, Drama, Group 49
Emma Grace Pfitzer Price, Drama, Group 49
Hayward Leach, Drama, Group 49
Shaun Anthony, Drama, Group 49
Mike Braugher, Drama, Group 49
Tom Blyth, Drama, Group 49
Bianca Crudo, Drama, Group 49
Lanie Jackson, Dance, 2020
Alexander Sargent, Dance, 2020
Brittany Hewitt, Vocal Arts 2020
Taylor Ann Massa, Dance, 2020
Matilda Mackey, Dance, 2020
John Livingston Hewitt, Dance, 2020
Nicolas Hudson Noguera, Dance, 2020
Andrew Lavelle, Music, 2020
Deanna Ciriellu, Music, 2020
Valerie Kim, Music, 2020
Johanna E. Bufler, Music, 2020
Jieming Tang, Music, 2020
Daniel V. Gurevich, Music, 2020
Jaylyn Elaine Simmons, Vocal Arts, 2020
Aleea Elaine Powell, Voice, 2020
Iona Batchelder, Music (cello) BM 2020

(Names updated manually, so please submit once only.)

Open the form in a new window.

Why Showing Up Matters: student counter-protest (photos by Daniel Davila)

Leaning up against her own picture outside the school, Jayme Lawson, a second year Drama student, tilts a curious head towards the sight of the day.

“I heard about this protest yesterday, and thought it was absolutely ridiculous that some people felt the need to spread hatred to our school. Luckily, a couple of students decided to have a protest of love, and I’m all about that. I don’t understand why anybody would seek to hate the arts. It seems like another reason to incite hatred in their own lives. And I don’t understand why anybody would choose to hate, ever.”

We all know that the Westboro Baptist Church came to picket in front of Juilliard this past Thursday. Three Caucasian women claimed a few squares of sidewalk in sweatshirts and wooly hats, American flags beneath their feet and the church’s infamous signs in hand. Besides the homophobic and Anti-Semitic proclamations, others held flashy phrases such as “The World Is Doomed” and “Mourn For Your Sins.” These women didn’t raise their voices, hand out pamphlets or attack pedestrians. They stood, garbed in slogans, and waited. One woman had headphones in and bounced to her WBC music while people passed by. Half a block away, Ruaridh Patterson, recent alum, bore the scene with instrument in hand and a rainbow flag caped around his back.

“I want to give a voice to the other side of the argument. The Westboro Baptist Church is picketing the Juilliard School and they equate what we do with vanity. I don’t think any of us do it for vain reasons, or the audience of whatever medium we’re in.”

Naturally, the message of the organization provokes anger, which is exactly what they want. The Kansas-based Church has made more than a pretty penny off of lawsuits regarding physical assault from bystanders over the past decade.

Rowan Vickers, drama alum, chose to stand his ground and shouted lines of Shakespeare in retaliation. I asked him what inspired him to come back to school that chilly morning. “I am here to stand in protest of the WBC and in solidarity with my brothers and sisters, gay, straight, black, white, artists and non-artists. We all need to stand in unity and brotherhood and sisterhood and stomp out the hate. I think that one of their claims is the vanity of the arts and that we all need to submit to God and to use our time on earth to worship him and carry out his will. If his will is what they say it is, he is not God. He is the devil. I don’t know specifically why they’re here today but I know why I’m here today: to step up to them.”

My initial response to the WBC was disappointment. Where were the oversized crucifixes and megaphones? Where were the demonizing screams telling me that I was going to burn in hell? Curiosity finally got the better of me and I approached the youngest of the three, who was probably the same age as me. Her response to my questions were as mundane as the phrases on her sign, verbatim straight from the church’s website.

“Go read Romans 9, or I can read it to you, it’s amazing, just a part! He’s God! He can do whatever he wants! Romans 9 Guys! I’m not telling you that your life is vain. If this is what you’re going to make your life about, this is what God says, if you’re guided to keep his commandment, use what you’ve got to serve God.” When I asked her about her mother who was still bouncing to her hymns, she explained: She’s using an art to serve God. That’s what we’re telling you to do. That’s that. One hundred percent of your duty is to serve God.”

Perhaps this is something greater than a small demonstration of a hate-group. This raises questions of how we can politicize our art to create good in the world, as citizens, performing artists and as decent human beings. That morning, I saw the politicization of art for good; I saw the unstoppable defense of a wall of sound that permeates through hate; how a pirouette or a verse of Hamlet can become a valiant resistance to the ambiguities of discrimination. Music brings us together-whether you’re playing the pit or holding up the sheet music for a friend.

Dean Adam Meyer stood from afar among many faculty members:

“I think it’s sad that we live in a world where three people and the Internet have the power to spread such a hateful message—what a waste of energy! In a way, by showing up and counter-protesting, we gave this horrible group what they wanted, which is attention. But in the end, the positive student response greatly overshadowed their bigotry, and Juilliard proved once again that love trumps hate. Personally, I was very moved that the protesters were met with music, kindness and generosity of spirit, which only served to bring the community together in a unique and powerful way.”

Disregarding all cheesiness, I guess you could say I saw what it really takes to be an Artist as a Citizen. To quote Joseph Polisi, the man that coined the phrase:

“On the west side of the building entrance we saw hate, bigotry, and ignorance. On the east side and just inside our building we saw hope and empathy, accompanied by music.”

We are all trying to grow up. We all want to be the next star of our field that Juilliard will brag about. Seeing a bunch of young artists huddled on the sidewalk reminded me of our youth, and that our powers lie not in our fame or our money but our talent, our raw, unclean passion.

That morning, we skipped breakfast and sacrificed an hour of sleep to stand up with our weapons of craft and waited, unshaken but trembling together.

Daniel Hass and Leerone Hakami contributed material to this article.

The Juilliard Black Student Union: A Vision Revived

My idea for starting the Juilliard Black Student Union arose out of the perceived need for a space for black students to consolidate and support one another in solidarity. I think it’s safe to say that at this point in our nation’s history, when across the country social activist groups like BlackLivesMatter are challenging the systemic racism in our society and breaking down racist norms, we are experiencing the second wave of the Civil Rights Movement. While the movement has gained a lot of momentum in recent years, there are thousands of instances of racism that people of color, especially black people, face on a continuous, daily basis—the effects of which are, more often than not, destructive in every way. From a police shooting of an unarmed black person published across mass media to micro-aggressions from colleagues, these instances affect us mentally, emotionally, psychologically, financially, and physically.

Black students at Juilliard are not exempt from racism. As a matter of fact, black students often feel ignored and “erased” due to the almost complete silence on these serious issues on the part of the larger Juilliard community. When people do talk about these issues, one, two, or three of the following usually occurs: 1) the issue at hand is discussed in a hurried and dismissive manner; 2) black students’ colleagues place a ton of unwarranted pressure on black students to know every detail about the issue and thus recall the trauma that may have been induced; 3) the black students’ colleagues make extremely ignorant and, quite frankly, racist comments on the issue. Therefore, I wanted there to be an exclusive space for black students in which their thoughts, emotions, and voices would always come first.

 I want the discussions we have in events to move into our classrooms, offices, studio classes, staff and faculty meetings, and performances.

I wanted to build a community for black Juilliard students, so that they could come together to uplift each other and engage in fellowship with one another, where they otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to do so due to their extremely busy schedules.

My secondary purpose for creating the Juilliard Black Student Union was to raise awareness within the larger Juilliard community about social, political, and worldwide issues. Almost every student, faculty, and staff member will tell you that Juilliard is a bubble. Due to everyone’s ridiculous schedules, there is almost no time in our day to check up on what is happening in our neighborhoods, let alone in the rest of the world. It is my hope that by first addressing the issues that plague the black community, we will be able to open up a door for the school to have conversations about other issues pervading our society.

My greatest hope for the JBSU is that it will inspire sweeping change in how the school has conversations about racism and other issues in our society. I want the discussions we have in events to move into our classrooms, offices, studio classes, staff and faculty meetings, and performances. I want the JBSU to be a leading example of students who have fully embraced their roles as citizen-artists, and as the rest of the school watches us move forward, I hope they’ll follow our example.

My other hope for the JBSU is that it continues to grow. I hope more students, black and non-black, will join and listen to our conversations about racism and all of the issues that intersect with it, in an effort to understand it better. I hope that the network and community of black students that we build with the JBSU will be so strong that it will remain intact once its founding members have graduated, and that we’ll continue to support one another even when we’re alumni. When our careers have taken off and we’re traveling the globe, I hope that even then, our network will thrive. I hope, too, that the JBSU will do larger projects that involve community service beyond the Upper West Side—reaching places like Flint, Michigan, and potentially even communities in other parts of the world, on different continents. And finally, I hope the JBSU will persist. I hope there will be students willing to take the reigns and continue to shape the JBSU into an organization that is effective and full of purpose.

When I first came up with the idea to start the JBSU, I did not have any ideas in mind other than the fact that it would be a safe space for black students. I didn’t know that we would be coordinating most of MLK Week, I didn’t know that we’d have a huge outreach of alumni who supported us and wanted to be a part of what we were doing. The leadership team also includes Tatum Robertson, 4th-year Voice student, Toney Goins, 3rd-year Drama student, Daniel Davila, 3rd-year Drama student, and Jeffery Miller, 3rd-year jazz student. A month (and two public meetings, three student leadership meetings, several emails, and some staff meetings) later, and now we’re here. And I have to say, the JBSU has been off to a wonderful start.