The Columbia Chronicle

Art Institute ‘Gang[s]’ up with contemporary architect

By Alex Stedman

October 22, 2012

From the Willis Tower to the Wrigley Building, Chicago’s architectural marvels and the people who design them are world-renowned. Even though Columbia’s Media Production Center, 1600 S. State St., isn’t historically significant, one of its most prominent designers is being recognized in an exhibition at the Art Institute.“Building: Inside Studio Gang Architects,” which opened Sept. 24, features the work of Chicago architect ...

Four alumni recognized at Sundance

By Alexandra Kukulka

February 6, 2012

Lights, camera, action! Each February, thousands of people rush to Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah, to experience the film festival of the year. Those who attend discover the newest talent in documentary, dramatic and short films, while sitting in on panel discussions according to the festival website.This year, four Columbia alumni were recognized at Sundance. Zak Zeman, 2008 film and video graduate, was t...

Who’s your radical?

By The Columbia Chronicle

November 7, 2011

by Pamela McKuenJournalism and first-year seminar adjunct professorI grew up in a place where dreams ran small: rain for the corn crops, a win for the high school basketball team on Friday night and a blue ribbon for the dress I entered in the 4-H fair. Few women worked outside the home. If anything, they were teachers, nurses or secretaries. My father resisted, but my mother got a job as a typist so I could go to college. That’s where I discovered Cosmopolitan magazine and thewomen’s movement.These entities aren’t as oppositional as they might seem. My radical, Helen Gurley Brown, was the longtime editor-in-chief of Cosmo, as the publication is affectionately known to readers. But she didn’t start out that way. She spent many years as a secretary and a copywriter before authoring the then-sensational and best-selling “Sex and the Single Girl” in 1962. Three years later, she took the helm of Cosmopolitan, and she steered it for 32 years.Brown, who married when she was 37, celebrated women and the single lifestyle. She urged us to pursue big careers, to be financially independent, and to enjoy sex and lots of it—but only when we chose to, and when fully protected. She championed birth control when it was frowned-on and abortion when it was illegal. She promoted inner strength and outer beauty.Unlike her bra-burning contemporaries and often scorned by them, she delivered her message of freedom and choice while dressed in Diane von Furstenberg wrap dresses and high-heeled pumps. And no one from my generation will forget the infamous nude centerfold in Cosmopolitan of actor and heart-throb Burt Reynolds, with one hand delicately draped in front of his delicates.The magazine was, for many years, my personal instruction manual in both life and eyeliner application. When I launched my career as an independent journalist, I took its encouragement to heart. Yes, you can do this, it said issue after issue. I came to believe.In more ways than one, my life has paralleled that of my radical. I, too, was a secretary and a copywriter. I went on to write magazine and newspaper features, and have been published in dozens of national and regional consumer, trade, association and special interest publications. I marched for abortion rights in Washington, D.C., with the National Organization for Women. I compiled a stock portfolio and bought a sports car. I wore stilettos. Then I got married.

8-bit education

By Luke Wilusz

September 6, 2011

I can’t imagine grade school without video games. I don’t just mean the ones I played at home, after school, on my trusty old Super Nintendo Entertainment System, although that did eat up hours of my childhood. No, I’m talking about the educational games they had on the computers at school when I was little. Some of my fondest memories from elementary school involve eagerly waiting for other students to leave one of the cla...

Eight-bit Windy City

By Luke Wilusz

December 6, 2010

With their Game Boys, Nintendo Entertainment Systems, synthesizers and computers at the ready, a group of local artists are gearing up to kick start a musical movement in Chicago. Their genre of choice is chiptune—also called chip music or just chip—a style of electronic music created by hacking old electronic devices such as Game Boys, Nintendo Entertainment Systems, Commodore 64s, etc. to manipulate their sound cards...

Chiptune geek-rockers Fight Dragons

By Luke Wilusz

October 18, 2010

Local pop-rockers I Fight Dragons have an obvious nerdy streak to them, and they wear it with pride. The band’s first EP, “Cool is Just a Number,” is pop-rock infused with chiptune, a music genre created using the sound cards from retro video game systems like old Game Boys and Nintendo Entertainment Systems. In between recording sessions of their upcoming EP, “Welcome to the Breakdown,” lead singer and songwriter...

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