Spring 2021 Steiner Invitational Speaker Series

The Sylvia and David Steiner Speaker Series brings creative practitioners who push boundaries, defy definition, and demonstrate excellence in all aspects of the arts, to our campus for deep engagement with our students and faculty. The Steiner Speaker Series is administered by the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry with the assistance of an advisory committee comprised of faculty from around the university.

During Spring 2021, the STUDIO offered the opportunity for CMU faculty, staff and students to bring a guest lecturer of their choice to (virtually) visit Carnegie Mellon. Nominations were sought that aligned with the goal of the Steiner Speaker Series: to bring creative individuals to CMU to share diverse perspectives and expertise that cut across the arts, science, technology, and culture, and who are working to address our current moment in timely ways. The twenty Spring 2021 visitors were:


Irene_Alvarado Irene Alvarado is an engineer, designer and creative technologist based in NYC, currently at employed at GitHub, and previously at Google Creative Lab. She uses a combination of design thinking and technical expertise to explore how emerging technologies will shape new products and creative tools. Most recently she has specialized in the intersection of machine learning, new interfaces, and product innovation. At CMU, Alvarado was a guest of Architecture professor Daragh Byrne’s “Responsive Mobile Environments” course.
Annie_Atkins Annie Atkins is a Canadian-born, Dublin-based graphic designer with expertise in design for the film industry. Beyond the design of movie posters, she also focuses on world-building through the meticulous design of movie props—even if those will only be shown for a brief amount of time or even if they are just blurred out objects somewhere on the screen. Her best known work was done for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, where she was in charge of helping the director create his distinctive look. At CMU, Atkins spoke to students in professor Brett Yasko’s “Sophomore Communications Studio” in the School of Design.
Martin_Bakari Martin Bakari is a noted tenor, who has been praised by Opera News as a “vocally charismatic” performer with a “golden tenor”. A 2018 George London Competition award winner, Bakari continues to distinguish himself as a dynamic artist in a wide array of musical and theatrical genres, including multiple tours of Porgy & Bess with NY Harlem Productions, and as an Emerging Artist with Virginia Opera. Mr. Bakari is an alumnus of the master’s degree program at Juilliard, and earned a B.M. at Boston University. At CMU, Bakari was hosted by faculty member Sari Gruber to speak to students in the School of Music’s Vocal Seminar.
David_Belkovski David Belkovski is an award-winning pianist and harpsichordist. Born in Macedonia, he made his Lincoln Center debut in Alice Tully as fortepiano concerto soloist with the American Classical Orchestra, and has performed as a soloist with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. Along with Rachell Ellen Wong, David is a founding member of Dioscuri, an ensemble that focuses on vivid interpretations with period instruments. David holds degrees from the The Juilliard School, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Michigan, and is a faculty member of The Juilliard School’s Evening Division. At CMU, David’s visit with the Collaborative Piano student cohort was hosted by Billie Miller, a graduate student in the School of Music.
Christy_Coleman Christy S. Coleman is an American historian, named by Time Magazine as one of their “31 People Changing the South” in 2018. She is the Executive Director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, and former president and chief operating officer of the American Civil War Museum. At CMU, Coleman was hosted by Jessica Bowser Acrie, Director of the Masters of Arts Management program, where she participated in a panel, Time for Monumental Change: The role of public art in communities and collective memory, and spoke to the removal of Confederate monuments and reexamination of public art in the field of arts management.
Shari_Frilot Shari Frilot is an artist, filmmaker, organizer and arts administrator. Since 2007, Frilot has been chief curator of the New Frontier program at the Sundance Film Festival, where she leads programming of new experimental American film and has developed an exhibition space which hosts digital artworks, media installations, and multimedia performance, including cinematic and artistic projects that make use of virtual reality technology. Her interests as a curator and a filmmaker are informed by her early experiences within a creative community of queer artists of color. At CMU, Frilot spoke to the School of Art’s graduate students as a guest of professor Jon Rubin.
Jeffrey_Gibson Jeffrey Gibson is a Mississippi Choctaw-Cherokee indigenous artist working across sculpture, painting, and textile construction. Born in Colorado, as a child his family moved frequently; Gibson has lived in Korea, Germany, and England, and his artworks combine and transform seemingly disparate references drawn from both Western and non-Western sources. He is currently an Artist in Residence and studio arts educator at Bard College. At CMU, Gibson gave a public lecture attended by students of professor Isla Hansen’s Advanced Studio: Open Sculpture students in the School of Art.
Hoda_Hamouda Hoda Hamouda is a user experience designer at Blockchain@UBC in Vancouver, Canada. With expertise in user-centered design, user research, UI design, user testing, and a wide range of design methodologies, her current work focuses on designing better tools to verify citizen journalist videos captured during political events. She holds a Master’s degree in Interaction Design and Applied Arts from Emily Carr University and has designed for  companies, institutions and startups such as Orange France Telecom, Goethe Cultural Institute, and American University in Cairo. Hamouda spoke at the invitation of Hajira Qazi, a graduate student co-teaching the course “Research Methods For Design” in the School of Design.
Michael_Heaston Michael Heaston is Director of the Opera Program at Rice University, and music director of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. A well-respected artistic administrator, collaborative pianist and vocal coach, Heaston served as advisor to the artistic director of the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and later, as acting artistic director of the Metropolitan Opera. Named one of Musical America’s Top 30 Professionals of the Year for 2015, Heaston holds Bachelor of Music degrees in piano pedagogy and arts administration from Drake University, and a Master of Music degree in accompanying and coaching from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. At CMU, Heaston was hosted by Professor of Music, Jocelyn Dueck.
Cathy_Park_Hong Cathy Park Hong is the poetry editor of the New Republic and is a full professor at Rutgers-Newark University. Her recent book, Minor Feelings, is one of the most potent and illuminating explorations of the Asian American experience ever written. As the nation continues to reckon with the forces of white supremacy, this cogent and lucid book is a revelatory exploration of the impacts of the particularities of anti-Asian racism. Hong is the recipient of the Windham-Campbell Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. At CMU, Hong gave a public lecture hosted by Elizabeth Chodos, Director of CMU’s Miller Institute of Contemporary Art.
Yvette_Janine_Jackson Yvette Janine Jackson is a composer of electroacoustic, chamber, and orchestral musics for concert, theatre, and installation. Building on her experience as a theatrical sound designer, she blends various forms into her own aesthetic of narrative soundscape composition, radio opera, and improvisation. Her works often draw from history to examine relevant social issues. Yvette holds a B.A. in Music from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Music-Integrative Studies from UC San Diego. Her research focuses on the history of production techniques and aesthetics which link radio drama and electroacoustic musics; multichannel composition; and immersion. At CMU, Jackson spoke to students in the School of Music’s “Experimental Sound Synthesis” course taught by professor Annie Hui-Hsin Hsieh.
Natalie_Kane Natalie Kane is a curator, writer and researcher based in London, UK. She is Curator of Digital Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum (UK) within the Design, Architecture and Digital Department. As part of her role, she curated the official U.K. pavilion at the 2018 London Design Biennale, and the official U.K. pavilion at the 2019 XXII Milan Triennale. Natalie is a co-curator of Haunted Machines with Tobias Revell, a long-term research project which reflects on narratives of magic and mythology pervading our relationship with technology. At CMU, Kane was a guest of Architecture professor Daragh Byrne in his “Responsive Mobile Environments” course.
Janette_Kim Janette Kim is an architectural designer, researcher, and educator. Her work focuses on the intersection between ecology, social equity and the built environment. Janette is assistant professor of Architecture and co-director of the Urban Works Agency at California College of the Arts, and founding principal of the design practice, All of the Above. She is author of The Underdome Guide to Energy Reform, and has worked in partnership with municipal agencies such as the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Metropolitan Transit Authority in New York, and the City of Newark. At CMU, she visited the students of Architecture professor Stefan Gruber, with whom she spoke with about the relation between energy and equity.
Lucy Kim is a visual artist working in painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography and biological media. Using material mistranslations as a premise, she explores the many naturalizing mechanisms that structure day-to-day visual experiences, from the seamless transition of a physical subject into an image, to the production of visual salience. She works with a wide range of materials: oil paint, silicone rubbers, resins, and more recently, bacteria that have been genetically modified to produce melanin. Kim received her BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001, and her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale School of Art in 2007. At CMU, Lucy Kim spoke in the “Visual Arts Research” course hosted by Art professor Kim Beck. 
John_King John King, composer, guitarist and violist, has received commissions from the Kronos Quartet, the Albany Symphony, Bang On A Can All-Stars, Mannheim Ballet, New York City Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Ballets de Monte Carlo, as well as the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Since the beginning of the COVID quarantine, King has co-organized a weekly dance and music series, Sonic Gatherings, which has adapted and evolved to the many challenges of connecting musicians, performers, and audiences in a virtual environment. At CMU, King spoke to members of the Exploded Ensemble as a guest of Music professors Jesse Stiles and Freida Abtan.
Adam_Milner Adam Milner is a Pittsburgh-based artist and educator. In his work, he draws upon personal exchanges with people, things, and institutions, to examine systems of intimacy, value, and power. Approaching materials and spaces that are often off-limits, his works reveal boundaries and involve a process of negotiation and exchange. He has exhibited at The Warhol, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Aspen Art Museum, Casa Maauad, Galería Mascota, Flux Factory, Florian Christopher Zurich, and David B. Smith Gallery. At CMU, Milner spoke about performance art with the students of Kristina Straub, faculty member in the English Department.
Natalia_Molina Natalia Molina is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, where she has served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity and Equity. A 2020 MacArthur Fellow, she explores the themes of race, space, labor, immigration, gender and urban history. She is the author of two award-winning books, How Race Is Made in America: Immigration, Citizenship, and the Historical Power of Racial Scripts and Fit to Be Citizens?: Public Health and Race in Los Angeles, 1879-1940. At CMU, Molina was hosted by professor of Architecture, Nida Rehman, to speak in a CFA-CAS seminar on “Quarantines and Sanitary Enclaves: The Spatial Politics of Health and Disease”.
Tobias_Revell Tobias Revell is Programme Director of Graphic Design Communication at London College of Communication, UAL. He is a founding director of design research consultancy Strange Telemetry, one half of research and curatorial power-brand Haunted Machines and a founding member of Supra Systems Studio. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education and Academy and is currently undertaking a PhD in Design at Goldsmiths. Spanning different disciplines and media his work addresses the urgent need for critical engagement with material reality through design, art and technology. At CMU, Revell was a guest of Architecture professor Daragh Byrne’s “Responsive Mobile Environments” course.
Dylan_Robinson Dylan Robinson is a xwélmexw (Stó:lō/Skwah) artist and writer, and the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts at Queen’s University. He is the author of Hungry Listening, a book that examines Indigenous and settler colonial forms of listening. His current research focuses on the material and sonic life of Indigenous ancestors held by museums, and reparative artistic practices that address these ancestors incarceration in museums. At CMU, Robinson engaged in a public discussion organized by professor Alexa Woloshyn (Music), with CMU faculty members Anne Lambright (Department of Modern Languages), Sartje Pickett (School of Drama), and Richard Purcell (Department of English).
Amy_Rosen Amy Rosen is a sociospatial designer who applies integrated design methodologies to everything they do, seeking opportunities to tie architecture into systematic and fluid urban networks. Rosen is an advocate for the power of design to inspire, to unify, and to heal. Using their architectural education as a backbone, Rosen incorporates equity and social sustainability into their design process. Rosen further leverages a passion for data, research, difference, and experimentation in order to unveil innovative design strategies that empower users and ensure a more resilient future. At CMU, Rosen was hosted by prof. Mary-Lou Arscott to speak to students in the School of Architecture.
Chad_Shomura Chad Shomura is a political theorist, teacher, and artist based in Colorado, where he is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Colorado Denver. Shomura’s work focuses on affect and politics at the intersections of race, sexuality, coloniality, species, and materiality. It explores minoritarian struggles to survive and thrive, as well as the alternative ideas, aesthetics, and worlds that are created along the way. At CMU, Shomura was hosted by Esther Kang, Teaching Fellow in the School of Design, to speak to undergraduates in Cultures, a course that introduces young designers to multiple perspectives, capabilities, and modes of living as they practice in the working world.