“You have to be willing to kill your children,” Kailey says. Her classmate Felicia, with whom she shares a brownstone stoop, nods vigorously. It’s something they’ve both learned in their poetry workshop: create something, fall in love with it, and then destroy it.
Alejandro also knows something about creativity exploding in a New School classroom. But he also learns on city streets. And in nightclubs. And in Central Park, where spectacular jazz teachers always hold classes outside.
Arianna’s goal is to see Manhattan as clearly through her camera as she does on her bicycle. It’s a city of wackos and dreamers, she says, and she hopes she can be considered one of them.
These vignettes and dozens more like them are part of a new campaign to show off the New School community in all its unvarnished creativity. “Are You New School?, the films ask. For these four undergraduates, the answer is a resounding yes.
Teaming up with award-winning documentarian Henry Corra, the university has produced a baker’s dozen of video profiles to illustrate what it means to be New School. Each less than two minutes long, the Are You New School?, profiles are microdocumentaries that capture The New School’s essence, its inventiveness, its ambition, and its eccentricity. Documenting New School style for the record, the films also seek to grab prospective students’ interest in less time than it might take them to open a catalog or scan a list of degree programs.
Web-based attention spans are limited,, said Corra. We talked to so many students with such interesting perspectives; it became clear that I could say more about The New School through these moments of reflection than with conventional narrative.,
The first phase of Are You New School?, is being launched on newschool.edu through a series of Admission Office emails, on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, and with tens of thousands of fluorescent Are You New School?, stickers being distributed around campus. On the campaign home page, current and prospective students are encouraged to submit photos, poetry, and other forms of creative expression that show why they are New School.
The campaign has already attracted the interest of social media fans and major media, including U.S. News and World Report, which cited honest, uncensored clips that separate New School’s videos from other colleges and universities., It has also given the internal audience a way of describing our students’ otherwise indescribable characteristics.
There is more Are You New School?, to come. The whole community, including faculty and staff, are invited to become part of Are You New School?, by appearing on camera to explain why they, too, are New School. In the coming weeks, roving cameras will canvass the university to record New Schoolers doing whatever it is that they do best. Keep an eye out on campus, and in New School News, to find out more.