Columbia and Barnard celebrate acquisition of Arthur Mitchell’s archives with symposium

Columbia recently acquired the archives of dancer and choreographer Arthur Mitchell, who rose to fame in the 1950s when he became the first African-American principal dancer in the New York City Ballet.Article Image

Now 81, Mitchell hopes to use his archives, which will be held in Columbia’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library starting in 2017, as a way to bridge the growing gap between Columbia and Harlem due to the University’s Manhattanville expansions. The archives, which include photographs, posters, programs, clippings, correspondence, early film footage, and video content, chronicle Mitchell’s career.

Mitchell was honored on Monday night at Barnard with a screening of a film about his career and a panel discussion that featured famed actress and dancer Carmen de Lavallade, ballerina and Co-chair of Faculty at the School of American Ballet Kay Mazzo, and members of the Barnard dance department.

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By Veronica Suchodolski | October 27, 2015


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