The Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University

The 17th Annual QBR-Harlem Book Fair will be presented in collaboration with Columbia University School of the Arts, C-SPAN Book TV, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Barnes and Noble, Harlem Hospital, WNYC, and WKCR. The Wheatley Book Awards will be staged this year at Columbia University's Miller Theater with expanded categories and this year's Legacy Awardees: poet Nikki Giovanni and illustratorJerry Pinkney. Hosted by author and radio personality Sheila Anderson, the ceremony also boasts a reading and performance by singer, composer, and cultural worker Imani Uzuri....

Improvising Agency For Change: Celebrating 20 Years of the Vision Festival

Columbia & CJS to Co-host Day-Long Conference in Collaboration with Arts for Art

Monday, July 6, 2015 from 9am to 5:30pm

Maison Française (Buell Hall) East Gallery, 515 W 116th St, New York NY 10027
Columbia University, New York, NY
Keynote Speaker: Nathaniel Mackey

What is the sound of artists making history? How can the efforts of improvisers to produce their own work and tell their own stories facilitate forms of aesthetic empowerment? How can artists take a central role in waging peace and envisioning a just world?

To honor the 20th anniversary of the Vision Festival,  Arts for Art has joined with Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies and the Division of Social Science, Faculty of Arts and Sciences to convene a one-day symposium of scholars, artists, and scholar-artists. (Pictured: Jeff Schlanger)

Central themes of the conference include the continuing resonance of black arts activism, free improvisation in the 21st century, musical experimentalism in lower Manhattan, the artist-as-organizer, and the legacy of the Vision Festival.

Poet and scholar Nathaniel Mackey (pictured below) will deliver the keynote address. Bernard Gendron, Ellen Waterman, Vijay Iyer, and Scott Currie will also give talks. There will also be a roundtable discussion of artists and organizers discussing the 20-year legacy of the festival.

Full Conference Schedule

Check Out the Conference Facebook Event HERE

This event is free and open to the public, and breakfast and lunch will be provided.

*Please Pre-Register at:*


The conference was organized by Michael Heller (University of Pittsburgh), Scott Currie (University of Minnesota), and Brent Hayes Edwards (Columbia University and the Center for Jazz Studies).