the creative life

Legendary rapper Rakim visits the Albany Public Library Howe Branch and the University at Albany as part of the Creative Life series, on Monday, October 28, 2019.
Patrick Dodson

William Michael Griffin Jr., better known by his stage name Rakim, is “near-universally acknowledged as one of the greatest MCs – perhaps the greatest – of all time within the hip-hop community” He began his career as the emcee of the rap duo Eric B. & Rakim.

Where many MCs of the time developed their technique through improvisational battles, Rakim was among the first to demonstrate the possibilities of sitting down and writing intricately crafted lyrics packed with clever word choices and metaphors.

His new book: "Sweat The Technique: Revelations On Creativity From The Lyrical Genius" follows his career from his beginnings as a teenage rapper on Long Island and offers insight into how he thinks about words, music, writing and rhyming as it teaches writers of all levels how to hone their craft.

Joe Donahue spoke with Rakim on stage on October 28th as part of UAlbany’s Creative Life series. The Creative Life is created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC.

High wire artist Philippe Petit visits the University at Albany as part of The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany on Thursday, October 3, 2019.
Patrick Dodson

Philippe Petit has performed on the high wire more than 80 times around the world; he is also a magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, lecturer, writer and subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary "Man on Wire."

Petit’s first “coup” was walking between the towers of Notre Dame in Paris in 1971. He followed with a walk between the pylons of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, setting the stage for “the artistic crime of the century,” his Twin Towers walk a quarter of a mile above the sidewalks of New York in 1974.

We spoke with Petit on stage on October 3 as part of UAlbany’s Creative Life series. The Creative Life is created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

Paul Reiser and Joe Donahue on stage at Page Hall in Albany New York
Patrick Dodson

Comedian, actor, television writer, author and musician Paul Reiser co-starred as Paul Buchman in the decade-defining 1990s comedy, "Mad About You." Other starring roles include Michael Taylor in 60 episodes of "My Two Dads," Doug Getty in "Red Oaks," and Dr. Sam Owens in "Stranger Things." His films include: "Diner," "Beverly Hills Cop" 1 & 2, "Aliens" and "Whiplash."

Reiser is also the author of three bestsellers about family life, including "Couplehood," "Babyhood" and "Familyhood." This Creative Life conversation was recorded on April 4, 2019.

Philippe Petit has performed on the high wire more than 80 times around the world; he is also a magician, street juggler, visual artist, builder, lecturer, writer and subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary, "Man on Wire" and the feature film "The Walk."

Petit’s first “coup” was walking between the towers of Notre Dame in Paris in 1971. He followed with a walk between the pylons of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, setting the stage for “the artistic crime of the century,” his Twin Towers walk a quarter of a mile above the sidewalks of New York in 1974.

Joe Donahue will be talking with Petit on stage at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center’s Recital Hall on Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m. discussing his creative inspiration, craft and career with a question and answer session with the audience will follow. It is part of the UAlbany’s Creative Life series.

Preceding The Creative Life event, Petit will perform a demonstration of his rope-walking artistry and join attendees at a reception at 6 p.m.

Comedian, actor, television writer, author, and musician Paul Reiser who has spent the last 30+ years acting in Oscar and Emmy award-winning movies and TV shows will be in Albany for two events this week.

On Thursday, April 4, he'll be at Page Hall on UAlbany's downtown campus for for an evening of conversation with WAMC's Joe Donahue as part of "The Creative Life: A Conversation Series." "The Creative Life" series is a major arts initiative of the University Art Museum, New York State Writers Institute and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in conjunction with regional public radio station WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

On Friday, April 5, he'll perform an evening of stand-up comedy at The Egg.

Susan Orlean’s latest bestseller, “The Library Book,” is an investigation into a 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Central Library that consumed 400,000 volumes and damaged another 700,000. In addition to shedding light on what happened, it is a celebration for an institution she’s cherished since she was a kid.

Created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio, the Creative Life series features leading figures from a variety of artistic disciplines in conversation with Joe Donahue about their creative inspiration, craft, and careers.

On Friday, March 1 at 8 p.m., Joe will be joined by Susan Orlean, author of the current New York Times bestseller, "The Library Book." A staff writer at The New Yorker for a quarter century, Orlean is the author of seven books, including "The Orchid Thief," an international bestseller that became the hit film "Adaptation."

On Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m., Orlean and co-host Sarah Thyre will present a live taping of their Earwolf podcast, "Crybabies" in the Sosnoff Theater at the Bard Fisher Center with guests Michael Ian Black, Karen Chee, and Gary Shteyngart.

Esmeralda Santiago, a founding mother of Nuyorican literature, was part of the University at Albany’s: The Creative Life: Conversation Series in the Fall of last year.

The eldest in a family of 11 children, Santiago came to the States from Puerto Rico at the age of 13. After eight years of part-time study in community colleges, she transferred to Harvard where she graduated magna cum laude. Santiago’s bestselling 1993 memoir, "When I Was Puerto Rican," was named one of the “Best Memoirs of a Generation” by Oprah’s Book Club. Her second memoir, "Almost a Woman" was adapted for Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Her epic 2011 novel, "Conquistadora," set in 19th century Puerto Rico, was hailed as a “triumph” in The Washington Post.

The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC produced with major support from the University at Albany Foundation.

This conversation was recorded on November 8th, 2018 at the University at Albany Campus Center Ballroom.

Thumbnail images of artwork by Jean Shin
http://www.jeanshin.com/

Jean Shin, sculptor and public installation artist, was part of the University at Albany’s: The Creative Life: Conversation Series in the Fall of last year.

Shin is nationally recognized for her monumental installations that transform everyday objects into expressions of identity and community. For each project, she amasses vast collections of a particular object (prescription pill bottles, sports trophies, sweaters) which are often sourced through donations from individuals in a participating community. These intimate objects then become the materials for sculptures, videos and site-specific installations. Her work has been widely exhibited in over 150 major museums and cultural institutions.

The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC produced with major support from the University at Albany Foundation.

This conversation was recorded on November 1, 2018 at the University at Albany Performing Arts Center.

Bibbe Hansen, pop cultural icon, performance artist, musician, and actress known for her work with Andy Warhol was part of the University at Albany’s: The Creative Life: Conversation Series with me in the Fall of last year.

Born to the bohemian poet Audrey Ostin Hansen and Fluxus artist Al Hansen in 1952, she was introduced to Andy Warhol in 1964 when her father took her to the popular bohemian artist hangout, Stark’s coffee shop, in New York City.

She became the youngest of the Warhol Superstars at just 12-years old starring in his films Prison and Restaurant. She also sat for two Screen Tests for Warhol the following year.

The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC produced with major support from the University at Albany Foundation.

This conversation was recorded on September 5, 2018 at the University Art Museum on UAlbany’s Uptown campus. This semester’s Creative Life events will feature author Susan Orlean on March 1 and comedian and actor Paul Reiser on April 4.

Esmeralda Santiago is a renowned writer of the Puerto Rican experience and a founding mother of Nuyorican literature.

Santiago’s bestselling 1993 memoir, "When I was Puerto Rican" was named one of the “Best Memoirs of a Generation” by Oprah’s Book Club. In 2018, it was one of five finalists for the “One Book, One New York” community-wide reading project. Her second memoir, "Almost a Woman" received the American Library Association’s Alex Award, and was adapted for Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Her epic 2011 novel, "Conquistadora" received many praises in The Washington Post.

She will be in Albany, New York at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 8 at the University at Albany Campus Center Ballroom as part of The Creative Life Conversation Series.

The Creative Life series, a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with regional public radio station WAMC, brings leading figures from writing, music, dance, choreography, visual arts, architecture, theatre, and filmmaking to the University for conversation with Donahue about their creative inspiration, craft, and careers.

Jean Shin, sculptor and public installation artist, will visit the University at Albany for a conversation with WAMC’s Joe Donahue as part of The Creative Life: Conversation Series at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 1 at the University at Albany Performing Arts Center.

The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC, produced with major support from the University at Albany Foundation.

Jean Shin is nationally recognized for her monumental installations that transform everyday objects into elegant expressions of identity and community. For each project, she amasses vast collections of a particular object—prescription pill bottles, sports trophies, sweaters—which are often sourced through donations from individuals in a participating community.

courtesy of the Billy Name Estate

Bibbe Hansen, pop cultural icon, performance artist, musician, and actress known for her work with Andy Warhol will visit the University at Albany for as part of “The Creative Life: Conversation Series” at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, September 5 at the University Art Museum on UAlbany’s Uptown campus.

The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the University Art Museum, New York State Writers Institute and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in conjunction with us here at WAMC and with major support from the University at Albany Foundation.

Bibbe Hansen first achieved prominence as a protégé of American pop artist Andy Warhol. She collaborated on several films with Warhol, including “PRISON,” which she starred in alongside Marie Mencken and Edie Sedgwick. From 1990–1995 she operated Troy Café, which became the center of a multicultural renaissance in downtown Los Angeles and was home to a generation of musicians, comedians, artists, and filmmakers. Today Bibbe creates artwork and is represented by Gracie Mansion Gallery in New York City. She recently completed the first draft of her memoirs, and lectures frequently on art and the creative process.

The Creative Life series is produced by UAlbany’s University Art Museum, NYS Writers Institute, and the UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC. The series features leading figures from a variety of artistic disciplines in conversation about their creative inspirations, their craft and their careers. At 11am we will air Joe Donahue’s candid conversation with Tony Award winning Broadway star, Patti LuPone.

Two-time Tony and Grammy Award winner Patti LuPone was most recently seen on Broadway in the musical ”War Paint.”

A graduate of the first class of the Drama Division of New York’s Juilliard School and a founding member of The Acting Company in which she toured the country for four years, LuPone went on to be a Broadway superstar for more than 30 years – starting with her Tony-winning performance in “Evita.” 

Broadway legend Patti LuPone will appear at two events in the Capital Region this week. 

On Thursday, April 26 she will join Joe Donahue in a Creative Life conversation about Ms. LuPone’s career and devotion to the arts and high standards therein. The conversation will take place at Page Hall on UAlbany's downtown campus at 7 p.m. The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

On Friday, April 27, Ms. LuPone will perform "Don't Monkey With Broadway" at Proctors in Schenectady at 8 p.m. "Don’t Monkey with Broadway" features music by the likes of Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Jule Styne, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

Garth Fagan and Joe Donahue at UAlbany PAC
© Anthony Tassarotti / www.tassarotti.com

Garth Fagan is the Tony and Olivier award-winning choreographer of "The Lion King" and founder, artistic director and president of Garth Fagan Dance.

On March 28 he visited the University at Albany for an evening of conversation with WAMC's Joe Donahue as part of "The Creative Life" at UAlbany, a collaborative series created and produced by the University Art Museum, Performing Art Center and New York State Writers Institute in collaboration with WAMC.

Lois Lowry and Joe Donahue at Page Hall
Sarah LaDuke

Lois Lowry is a leading voice of children’s literature and the author of more than 30 books. She is known for work that explores such complex issues as racism, terminal illness, murder, and the Holocaust. She received the Newbery Medal for both "The Giver" and "Number the Stars." In 2007 Lowry received the Margaret Edwards Award from the American Library Association for her lasting contribution to young adult literature.

This interview was recorded at Page Hall as part of the "The Creative Life Series" created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio.

David Salle is an internationally renowned painter whose work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Guggenheim Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate Museum and National Galarie of Berlin, among many others.   He also has a long-standing involvement with performance working extensively over the last 25 years with choreographer Karole Armitage, creating sets and costumes for many of her ballets and operas.  Salle is also a prolific writer on art. His new book is How To See.

On Wednesday, March 23, he will be featured in the New York Writers Institute The Creative Life Series in conversation with Joe Donahue, live in the Recital Hall at UAlbany at 7pm. 

The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany is an initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center, and University Art Museum, all of which are housed and function on the main campus of the University at Albany. Guests in this inaugural year of the series have included author Joyce Carol Oates and dancer/choreographer Savion Glover who appeared in September and October 2016, respectively.

The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany is a new initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center, and University Art Museum, along with WAMC to converse with artists of national and international prominence about their creative inspiration, their craft, their careers, and the demands of sustaining an artistic practice over time. 

Savion Glover is a Tony award-winning choreographer and considered “the greatest tap dancer to ever lace up a pair of tap shoes.” At the age of 10 he starred in the Broadway musical The Tap Dance Kid, which earned seven Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. At the age of 15, he received a Tony nomination for his role in Black and Blue and, three years later, a Drama Desk Award nomination for his role in Jelly’s Last Jam.

He both starred in and choreographed the musical Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk, for which he received the Tony for choreography. In 2016, he earned another Tony nomination for choreography for Shuffle Along. He also performed the live capture dance moves for “Mumble,” the penguin in the Disney film Happy Feet and its sequel. 

This interview was recorded at Page Hall at UAlbany on October 16th. .  Later that night, Glover premiered his latest work New Soundz, at The Egg in Albany. 

Joyce Carol Oates has won the highest honors in American fiction, ranging from the National Book Award to being awarded the National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2010. She is also a 5-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She has a pair of new books out – one a memoir, one a meditation on writing. 

We spoke to Joyce Carol Oates her as part of The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at The University at Albany. Our conversation was taped in September before a live audience in the University’s Performing Arts Center.