Robert Nieske
Robert Nieske

Bassist/composer/arranger Robert Nieske, professor of the practice of music and director of the Brandeis Jazz Ensemble, has recorded a new CD, “Fast Track,” with the Bob Nieske 10. Released by CIMP Records, the CD was partially funded by a grant from Brandeis’ Theodore and Jane Norman Fund and was recorded live in Slosberg Recital Hall.

“Friends” creator Marta Kauffman ’78 is writing and creating a Netflix comedy series starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Across 13 half-hour episodes, “Grace and Frankie” follows two longtime rivals, unexpectedly thrown together when their husbands announce their love for each other. Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos describes the show, which will be available for streaming sometime next year, as “warm, very funny and anything but wholesome.”

The Rose Art Museum has rolled out its searchable Digital Collection website, which offers online access to many works in the museum’s renowned 8,000-piece collection of modern and contemporary art. The number of pieces included in the Digital Collection will expand over time, museum officials say. To study works by Robert Rauschenberg, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol and other culture-changing artists from the comfort of your living room, go to

Solly Granatstein ’90 was the co-executive producer of “Years of Living Dangerously,” a Showtime docuseries investigating the human impact of climate change. Granatstein worked with several of his former “60 Minutes” colleagues on the project, as well as with veteran filmmakers James Cameron and Jerry Weintraub. Thomas Friedman ’75, H’88, one of the series’ on-screen correspondents, explored the ways climate change is affecting national sovereignty in the Middle East. Harrison Ford, Matt Damon and Don Cheadle were several of the other high-profile correspondents.

Art historian Peter Kalb, the Cynthia L. and Theodore S. Berenson Associate Professor of Contemporary Art, is the author of “Art Since 1980: Charting the Contemporary,” a survey of art from the late 20th century to the present day. The book, published by Pearson, covers painting, photography, sculpture, video, installations and performance art, combining brief discussions of individual artists with a look at the social history and central artistic themes of the time.

Robert Moody has spent 50 years working in theater, television and opera — 40 of them as a member of the Brandeis theater arts faculty, most recently as the Blanche, Barbara and Irving Laurie Chair in Theater Arts. A nationally acclaimed scenic artist, Moody retired from university life this spring amid celebrations of his many contributions to Brandeis. A retrospective exhibition of his set designs, sketches and paintings, titled “Work, Now and Then,” was mounted in Spingold’s Dreitzer Gallery.

Light of Reason, a public sculpture created by acclaimed artist Chris Burden, which will stand outside the Rose Art Museum’s entrance, is on track for completion by the end of August. The recycled Victorian lampposts that compose the piece were slated to be delivered by the end of June, and the installation’s opening event is scheduled for the second week in September. Burden has said he hopes Light of Reason will serve as “an icon for Brandeis and for the Rose Art Museum.”

For more on the arts at Brandeis, visit

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