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Regina Taylor partners with Columbia for Black Album Mixtape project

Kaelah Serrano
Regina Taylor expresses to students at Columbia College Chicago that the writer’s strike occurring is necessary for the industry. Taylor talks at 33 E. Ida B. Wells Dr., on Monday, Sept. 18, 2023, about the multiple factors such as AI, ethics and industry standards.

Actress and playwright Regina Taylor will partner with Columbia for her next Black Album Mixtape initiative similar to the one she did at Southern Methodist University in 2021.

What it means for students: “The Black Album Mixtape is an opportunity for students to start a discussion about pressing issues such as gender inequality, racial injustice, LGBTQ+ rights through whatever artistic medium they choose,” Taylor said during a visit to a journalism class on Monday, Sept. 18.

For the project at Southern Methodist, students were invited to contribute to the conversation after the year of “racial-reckoning” in 2020. The mission of the project explored how artists advance social justice through their work, particularly during COVID-19.

What Taylor is saying: Students at Columbia are invited to engage in discussions about themes of what’s going on in the world today. “I challenge people to stand up, speak out. We need to have these conversations and we need to have them now. Rights are slowly being stripped away and at some point, each and everyone of you will be affected,” Taylor said.

The work will be collected for a special digital archive.

What students are saying: “I think it’ll do Columbia some good to diversify the art scene here and give everyone a voice and a platform,” said creative writing major Sofia Wheelock. “It’s really important that all forms of media art are used to tell the stories of all different kinds of people.”

Taylor will return to Columbia at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22, for a kickoff session in the Music Center Concert Hall.

“Art changes the world,” said sophomore musical theatre major Shelbee Taylor. “Creating art that changes people is important. Me and my friends write songs, not because it’s relatable but because of the indescribable feeling we get when we hear or see something that completely captures our emotions, that’s why we need artists during times like this,”

What’s happening at Columbia: Students at Columbia will be invited to participate through various art forms.

The theme for the Columbia project is “Stand Up, Speak Out,” Students are invited to create work around the following idea from Taylor, presented in poetic form:

“Make a Change.

We are now on the brink – 2023. After 2020 we were defined by Covid, social protests

ignited by George Floyd and an incendiary Presidential race.

As we examine our past, challenging who we believe ourselves to be –

How do we deal with the rollbacks that will affect generations to come?

There’s work to be done.

How will your voice make a difference today?




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About the Contributors
Vivian Richey
Vivian Richey, Assistant Campus Editor
vrichey@columbiachronicle.com   Vivian Richey is a sophomore journalism major, who reports on the college's Faculty Senate, Columbia's COVID-19 protocols and campus art exhibitions. She joined the Chronicle in January 2023.   Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Kaelah Serrano
Kaelah Serrano, Photojournalist
kserrano@columbiachronicle.com   Kaelah Serrano is a junior photojournalism major. She has covered music festivals, campus art exhibitions and metro parades and protests. Serrano joined the Chronicle in January 2023.   Hometown: Chicago, Illinois