Alumni artists to feature on virtual panel next week


Mr. Bell's and Suleyman's websites and Kara Coleman

Kamau Bell, left, Karim Sulayman, center and Amanda Williams, right, will serve on a panel together.

Adrianna Nehme, Reporter

Following the positive response from the first virtual alumni panel in April, the Alumni Relations and Development office will sponsor “The Power of Art in its Many Forms” on May 28 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Three alumni artists will discuss the importance and value of art, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Kamau Bell, who graduated from U-High in 1990, is a socio-political comedian. Along with being the host and executive producer of CNN’s series “United Shades of America with K. Kamu Bell,” he is featured on Netflix’s “Private School Negro” and is the director of the documentary “Chris Rock: Bring the Pain.” He is the author of “The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell: Tales of a 6′ 4″, African American, Heterosexual, Cisgender, Left-Leaning, Asthmatic, Black and Proud Blerd, Mama’s Boy, Dad, and Stand-Up Comedian.”

Karim Sulayman, who graduated from U-High in 1994, is a musical artist. As a 2019 Grammy Award winner, he frequently performs around the world at operas, orchestral concerts, recitals and chamber music. 

Amanda Williams, who graduated from U-High in 1992, is a visual artist. Her art, which is exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, Museum of Modern Art in New York City and Art Institute of Chicago, uses color to draw attention to the complexities of race, space and value in cities. She is also a member of the Obama Presidential Center Museum Design team.

“There’s so much incredible power in art, almost like a healing power,” Michael Zarobe, director of alumni relations, said. “We thought it would be especially meaningful to have a cross representation of these different areas of art, and so that’s why we specifically chose a visual artist, a musical artist and a socio-political comedian.”

All members of the Laboratory Schools community are encouraged to register and attend the program.