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Nina Riggs, the Poet, Speaks in Prose for the First and Last Time

Nina Riggs ’95 In her newly released memoir, The Bright Hour, Nina Riggs ’95 sets up the terms of engagement right at the outset. “Dying isn’t the end of the world,” Nina reports her mother joking in the months before she died. Shortly thereafter, Nina had to reckon with the truth in her mother’s cryptic humor. While she was still undergoing treatment for breast cancer that had been diagnosed 11 months earlier, Nina’s cancer became metastatic and incurable. She was 38. “There are so many things that are worse than death,” Nina writes, “old grudges, a lack of self-awareness,...

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Promoting Stories That Need to Be Heard and Seen

Chloe Walters-Wallace ’03 Chloe Walters-Wallace grew up watching stories unfold on film sets in Jamaica where her mother is a line producer. Childhood was adventurous and colorful in her eclectic community that Chloe describes as “sort of middle-class hippies who, to this day, are wonderful creative, open, free-spirited people.” Today, she lives in New Orleans, where she multitasks projects and numerous roles centered on amplifying the voices of marginalized people. “There’s more awareness about the lack of diversity in film, especially with the debate about #OscarsSoWhite,” says Chloe, “a lack of women filmmakers, filmmakers of color, and LGBTQ voices....

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‘Photography Means Writing with Light’

Amanda Weil ’78 When she was 10 years old, Amanda Weil discovered a darkroom in the basement of her rambling family home in Mt. Kisco, New York. Her father had built it before she was born. “I have vivid memories about figuring out how to use the darkroom,” says Amanda. She didn’t have a camera, she just made photograms. These are images made by placing an object directly onto the surface of a light-sensitive material such as photographic paper and then exposing it to light. An adult clearly supplied the photographic paper and developing chemicals, “but nobody particularly noticed...

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You, too, can have your own, cozy classical music party

Just log in to Groupmuse Sam Bodkin ’07 Seven stories above West 57th Street, the acrobatic notes of centuries-old piano music nearly drown the Manhattan symphony of sirens, car horns and bus brakes. About 30 people—some strangers, some friends—give their rapt attention to what is happening on the keys. Sitting cross-legged at the heel of the piano is Sam Bodkin ’07, who closes his eyes and taps his fingers in sync as Jeremy Jordan plays Chopin’s Polonaise in A, Op. 40. Sam is the founder of Groupmuse, a social network connecting classical musicians with audiences at intimate, informal gatherings,...

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ART WORKS

Artists move mountains: shifting perspectives, opening hearts and minds, instructing us quietly, revealing difficult truths. Over the ages, we have been grateful to artists, or angry with them, or astounded, or affirmed. In the most difficult times, we rely on artists to wrestle with the most complicated issues, take us to unfamiliar places, and burrow into spaces that need light. They connect us powerfully to beauty and transcendence. Artists help us reach for our deepest selves and for each other.