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Because Of You
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Because Of You

Kayla Rosenberg


Kayla Rosenberg
Televison Major ('14)

When Kayla Rosenberg, a senior in the Television program, discovered that the investor in her latest film, The “Z” Word, had backed out four weeks before she was due to start production, she was left reeling. Kayla explained, “I was in a state of shock. I was producing a $15,000 film and now it was at $5,000.” Michael Niederman, Chair of the TV Department, suggested she apply for the newly-established Norinsky Family Production Grant. After submitting her production documents, which included budget, script, and crew list, Kayla was approved and became the first Television student to be awarded the funds.

The Norinsky Family Production Grant was established by Ron Norinsky (BA ’70), an alumnus of the Television department. Norinsky, who owned and operated Video Replay, a Chicago-based video equipment rental and post/duplication company, decided to create the grant in order to offer financial assistance to students for video project assignments. Students may apply for grant money to help them with equipment and location rentals, costume, prop, and set rentals, and purchases for class-assigned work.

Norinsky’s generosity in establishing the grant has already had a tremendous impact. Rosenberg, who wrote and produced The “Z” Word, used the grant money for a variety of purposes, including hiring a makeup artist and stunt coordinator, as well as a U-Haul truck to transport the entire crew around the city. When asked about the impact of the grant she said, “It was instrumental. I don’t know where we would be without it.”

Rosenberg worked on the project with a team of students from both the Television and Film departments. The “Z” Word tells the tale of zombies trying to re-assimilate into society after a cure for ‘zombieism’ has been found. Talking about the film, which is currently in post-production, Kayla said, “It is really hilarious. They still look like zombies so there is zombie discrimination. They have difficulty trying to date and get a bus pass.” After the film is complete Kayla has big plans for its release. “The plan is to file all the paperwork so we can register it for festivals and then hopefully apply for the student Oscars. I would like to be able to sell the idea for either a TV show or feature film.”

Stephanie Kosgard

Stephanie Kosgard
Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management Major ('13)

A student- and alumni-led fundraising initiative called ColumbiaCares has recently been established jointly by the Dean of Students Office and the Office of Alumni Relations. The Dean of Students Office is responsible for the ColumbiaCares: Students To Students fund which provides students with food, clothing, shelter, and transportation in times of immediate need. The Office of Alumni Relations will oversee the ColumbiaCares: Alumni for Students Emergency Fund which provides textbook and supplies, as well as tuition assistance to students in need.

The student-led initiative was kick started by the hard work of two Arts, Entertainment, and Media Management (AEMM) Events Management Practicum classes. The students were working together to host the third-annual Holipalooza – an end-of-semester celebration at the Conaway Center – and were looking for ways to incorporate charitable giving into the event.

“As a class, we were having a difficult time trying to think of one charity that everybody at Columbia would want to sponsor, so we made one up,” said Stephanie Kosgard (’13), an AEMM senior, on how the class chose to start the fund. “It really hit home because there was an article in the Chronicle about homeless students. You were sitting next to them in class but you didn’t know that they were homeless. We wanted to give back to Columbia, because we all have connections to the college.”

In order to raise money the class collected loose change from the Columbia community by leaving buckets at 40 locations across campus, and sold candy canes in the 33 E. Congress Parkway Building.

Stephanie also spearheaded a proposal to solicit a donation from the President. “We wrote a proposal for Ken Gotsch in the President’s Office and he shared it with the President, who agreed to give us $10,000 to kick-off the fund,” Stephanie said. “It was a pretty big accomplishment.”

The effort made by Stephanie and her classmates in establishing ColumbiaCares is not only testament to dedication the Columbia community has for its members but serves as a reminder that to support the arts we must first support the artists.