ualbany performing arts center

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.

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.

Adam Nadal

Ping Chong + Company will present their non-fiction, documentary style production - “Beyond Sacred: Voices of Muslim Identity” on October 14 and 15 at UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the main campus of the University at Albany.

Written by Chong, Sara Zatz, and Ryan Conarro in collaboration with the performers, the work illuminates the daily experiences of five young Muslim Americans who have come of age in a post-9/11 society and are building their lives in a time of continued fear and violence towards Muslims. The cast members are from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and reflect a wide range of Muslim identities, including: those who have converted to Islam, those who were raised Muslim but have since left the faith, those who identify as “culturally” Muslim and those who are observant on a daily basis.

We welcome Maha Syed, featured in “Beyond Sacred;” Sara Zatz, the co-author & co-director of “Beyond Sacred;” and Paul Grondahl, Director of the New York State Writers Institute.