A short film co-produced by computer science major Ethan Stein ’15 won the Audience Pick prize at the 2013 Boston Student Film Fest, which recognizes excellence in filmmaking by undergraduate and graduate students. “WordSmith” follows a couple of men who try to get a word into the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
An album of compositions by Martin Boykan, emeritus professor of music and founder of the Brandeis Chamber Ensemble, was released in March. “Martin Boykan: Orchestral Works” — performed by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project led by conductor Gil Rose, along with violinist Curtis Macomber and baritone Sanford Sylvan — features Boykan’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra” (2003) and “Symphony for Orchestra” (1989).
Mimi Huntington, MFA’87, founding artistic director of the Nora Theatre Company, in June received the 2013 StageSource Theater Hero Award. Huntington founded the company — currently housed at the Central Square Theater in Cambridge, Mass. — the year she graduated from Brandeis. It was one of the first theater companies in Boston to focus on stories by and about women. In April, Huntington announced she would be leaving her Nora Theatre post as soon as her successor is chosen, most likely sometime this fall.
Peter Van Zandt Lane, MA’08, PhD’13, is composing music for a ballet titled “HackPolitik.” The work, which explores how technology has changed political dissidence, is for Juventas New Music Ensemble, and is being created in collaboration with choreographer Kate Ladenheim and her dance company, the People Movers. The ballet will have its world premiere in Boston in November.
In April, the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts celebrated its 61st year, encouraging art lovers to “imagine the impossible.” The four days of music, dance, theater and visual-arts events included a campus sing-along to John Lennon’s “Imagine” in the Shapiro Campus Center; “Late Night with Leonard Bernstein,” hosted by Bernstein’s daughter Jamie, with performances by soprano Amy Burton and pianists John Musto and Michael Boriskin; the Brandeis Theater Company production of “Visions of an Ancient Dreamer”; and the student-organized Springfest concert, which featured rapper Kendrick Lamar and indie-pop band Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
The nonprofit Medicine Wheel Productions, dedicated to building communities and promoting justice through public art, in June presented Cynthia Cohen — who directs the Peacebuilding and the Arts program at Brandeis’ International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life — with its Medicine Woman Award. “We wanted to honor someone who takes a leap to use the arts in order to have a cultural impact,” says Medicine Wheel founder Michael Dowling, “whose work has an impact that is lasting and meaningful, and that’s Cynthia.”