Columbia University School of the Arts’ Lenfest Center for the Arts is a dynamic new hub for cultural and civic exchange in Upper Manhattan. Featuring four flexible venues and a public plaza, this state-of-the-art facility offers unprecedented opportunities for the presentation and generation of contemporary art across disciplines.


From readings and installations to performances, screenings, and symposia, the vibrant array of activity at the Lenfest Center for the Arts aims to strengthen local partnerships while highlighting contemporary scholarship, global perspectives, and compelling voices of our time.



The Year of Water

The Year of Water is Columbia University’s year-long exploration of the power of earth’s most precious resource. Led by the School of Arts, the University will convene around this interdisciplinary investigation of water in all its social, political, cultural, economic, historical, and environmental inequities and complexities.


Featured Events

Wednesday, September 18, 2019, 7:30PM

“Banville and Ford, authors of many novels (The Book of Evidence, Independence Day), winners of many prizes (Booker, Pulitzer, Princess of Asturias, Prix Femina) and decades-long friends, engage in (it's hoped) a spirited, un-theoretical back 'n forth about the supposed pleasures of the text.”


Saturday, September 21, 2019, 10:00AM

As part of the Digital Storytelling Lab’s ongoing Story I/O (“Input/Output”) initiative, an interactive one-day exploration of new forms and functions of storytelling. Led by Lance Weiler, Film and Theatre.


Saturday, September 21, 11am + 3pm

Our goal is to create a welcoming venue where every space can be activated by the work of students, faculty and guest artists in film, theatre, writing and visual arts, opening our doors to new collaborations both across the University and our community, fostering connections to the always vibrant art scene in Harlem and beyond.

- Carol Becker, Dean
Columbia University School of the Arts

When we committed ourselves to the Manhattanville campus in West Harlem, we knew it would be essential for Columbia to use this opportunity to build exceptional spaces for our mission of teaching, research and creativity that make a difference in the world—and to do so in a way that benefits our city and community.

- Lee C. Bollinger, University President

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