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New York Tech Live: West Side Story: How It Speaks to Us Now

March 11, 2020
3:00 PM  – 6:00 PM

16 W. 61st St., 11th Floor Auditorium
New York, NY

New York Tech is doing its part in helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In an abundance of caution, we have canceled this event.

Join Us for New York Tech Live’s Inaugural Event … West Side Story: How It Speaks to Us Now, an interactive live event hosted by New York Institute of Technology featuring Esmeralda Santiago (author of When I Was Puerto Rican and Almost a Woman), Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Mike Wallace, and musician Bobby Sanabria, who will share the monumental impact of the film on their lives, their work, and the world around them.

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3 p.m.


3:05 p.m.

Student Presentations

  • West Side Story as a Shakespearean adaptation in the context of adaptation theory.
  • West Side Story in the context of historical representations of Latinx people on screen.

3:35 p.m.

West Side Story Revisited: Latin Jazz Arrangements

Musician and ethnomusicologist Bobby Sanabria, an eight-time Grammy nominee, will discuss his recently released Grammy-nominated album of Latin jazz arrangements and adaptations of the music of West Side Story, as well as Leonard Bernstein’s original compositions, their musical and cultural impact, and the process of adapting them.

4 p.m.

Coffee Break

4:20 p.m.

In the Neighborhood: The Making of West Side Story

New York historian Mike Wallace, the Pulitzer-prize winning author of Gotham and Greater Gotham, and New York Tech Instructor Sean Khorsandi, director of the neighborhood preservationist group Landmarks West, will discuss the film’s connection to urban planning and architectural history of the Upper West Side and to the city’s ethnic and immigration history.

4:45 p.m.

A Latinx Point of View

Esmeralda Santiago, author of When I Was Puerto Rican, a 2018 finalist for the “One City One Book” competition, and Almost a Woman, is recognized as one of the most important voices in Puerto Rican writing. She has written about her complex and ambivalent response to West Side Story, which came out when she was a student at the famous High School of the Performing Arts, and is ideally-suited to discuss the film’s legacy within the Puerto Rican community.

5:10 p.m.

Panel Discussion

5:45 p.m.

Closing Remarks

For more information, contact Jonathan Goldman at jonathan.goldman@nyit.edu.