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In a climate of racial violence and unrest, much of the conversation focuses on how to fix the country-at-large's issues with racism. But the President of the Child Mind Institute, Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, wants to redirect the conversation to focus on some of the most vulnerable members of society: our children. The letter in its entirety is posted below.

Dear friend,

In the wake of last week's racially charged violence, our dismay and distress have reached a fever pitch. These tragic shootings -- of black men by police and policemen by a sniper -- add fuel to a burning conversation in this country, and I think it's important for all of us to take part. The conversation is about the relationship between police and black communities, about violence, racism and divisiveness. 

To be honest, part of me wants to ignore it and keep my head down. Can a white child psychiatrist have a role in addressing this crisis? If I did not want to raise eyebrows or potentially offend anyone, I'd stop writing now.

But my job is to speak for children, who too often get short shrift because it is "inconvenient" to put their interests first. And here is the truth: the outbursts and the arguments, the anxiety and enmity, the killings and memorials are out there in full view of our kids -- black or white, documented or undocumented, immigrants or native born.

Our children need help. They need the adults in their lives to step up and comfort them and also to be honest with them. And though the conversation is different from community to community, parents need to talk to their children about the way things are and the way we think they should be.

Last week's violence was particularly painful because it threatens to turn even our mourning into something that divides, rather than uniting us. Our children look to us not only to keep them safe but also to help them think about upsetting information, including injustice, violence and division.

Many people have published helpful guidelines for talking to children about these very American issues of race, racism, equality and responsibility. I offer just a few:

  • Acknowledge injustice in our society. Children know when adults are hiding things from them, and it makes them feel unsafe.
  • Talk about the power of positive action. It helps children to know that adults are working together to make our communities and our country more fair.
  • Communicate hope to children. Feeling powerless or passive in the face of bad things makes them more painful.
  • Focus on togetherness and our common welfare. We need to stress that if some Americans are vulnerable, none of us should be comfortable.
  • Affirm the value of peaceful dissent. Passionate differences of opinion are the lifeblood of this country, but disagreements are never an excuse for violence.
  • E pluribus unum. When the conversation turns ugly, our children should know that uniting rather than dividing is the course that gets results.

Speaking these words to our children is very hard when we feel strongly that we are right, and the other side is wrong. The conversation devolves into fearful stereotypes, unkind words and hurtful shouting. Too often it is punctuated with gunfire. Let us remember that this violence and these words and this free-floating anxiety are not lost on our children.

Luckily, we have examples that we can aspire to. Three of them spoke at Tuesday'smemorial for the fallen Dallas police officers. Rabbi Andrew Marc Paley connected the anxiety so many of us live with to its unfortunate outcome. "Those of us who are scared and afraid, angry and confused," he said, are suffering with an "illness of violence, hatred, xenophobia and indifference that plagues us every day."

President Obama spoke movingly about the challenges we face in confronting that illness. "I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," he said. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been." But examples like the people of Dallas are strong. "All of you," he told the mo­urners, "out of great suffering have shown us the meaning of perseverance, of compassion, of hope."

The best gift we can give our children, and the best way to make them feel safe, is to let them hear and see our efforts to work towards change. "There is no greater love than this," Dallas police chief David Brown said in memorializing the five officers killed while protecting a protest. "These five men gave their lives for all of us."

In moments when hope eludes us, let us remember the power of constructive action and of investing in our children -- all our children, not just yours or mine. If we help our children, if we nurture and protect their childhoods, if we spare them from our prejudices and misunderstandings, they have a chance to be better than we are. And in turn they will create a better country and lead us to a more perfect union.

With my warmest regards,    

Harold S. Koplewicz, MD
Child Mind Institute

Summer at the Guggenheim


From new exhibitions to free admission to multimedia architecture guides for children, the Guggenheim is one New York City cultural institution that can't be missed this summer.

Two exciting new exhibitions are running throughout the summer. Moholy-Nagy: Future Present is a retrospective of László Moholy-Nagy organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Moholy-Nagy is known for his "radical innovations...with cameraless photographs (which he dubbed 'photograms'); his unconventional use of industrial materials in painting and sculpture; experiments with light, transparency, space, and motion across mediums; and his work at the forefront of abstraction." It runs until September 7th. But A Storm Is Blowing From Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, which explores artistic practices within both the region and its diaspora. Curated by Sara Raza, the Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, this exhibition "will feature installations, photographs, sculptures, videos, and works on paper from a broad selection of artists." After the exhibition closes on October 5th, it will travel to Istanbul's Pera Museum in 2017.

The Guggenheim is also offering free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families until Labor Day, September 5th. The admission includes active-duty Reserve and National Guard. Each serviceperson will be able to bring up to five family members. The Guggenheim is working with Blue Star Museums, a collaboration between Blue Star Families, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 U.S. museums. For more information, and to find out other participating museums, visit https://www.arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums.

The Guggenheim is housed in an iconic building by Frank Lloyd Wright. In order to connect musem-goers with the building, a multimedia guide was created--and now that guide has been made available in a format for children. The guide "explores the landmark structure from various points of view and helps kids discover special locations and architectural features, including the exact center of the rotunda, a staircase shaped like a football, and the Aye Simon Reading Room, tucked away behind its distinctive, keyhole-shaped entry."

Anxiety disorders can lead to disruptions in children's lives, especially in the classroom. For those children struggling with anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy, also known as CBT, has allowed them to retake control of their lives. Standard CBT treatments range from three-to-four months, but an accelerated program is allowing students to complete the course within "a few weeks," according to the Child Mind Institute, which this week published an in-depth look at the process.

The intensive CBT courses allow students access to the relief they need as soon as possible. "As kids learn the skills faster and get results faster," says Dr. Jerry Bubrick, "they get more and more empowered."

The post from the Child Mind Institute covers a range of topics from the nature of OCD and anxiety to the importance of children spending time in nature. The complete list of topics is below:

Caroline Miller is Editorial Director of the Child Mind Institut, an independent nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children struggling with mental health and learning disorders. For more information, see childmind.org.

A History Lesson


By Dr. Stephen Spahn,
Chancellor of Dwight School

As seniors graduate and educators take stock of another academic year, I am inclined to take a longer look in the rearview mirror -- well beyond the last few semesters to the beginning of my career in education for a perspective on how far we have all traveled and a primer on what has stood the test of time.

When I became a young headmaster in the 1960s, it was a particularly tumultuous time -- a counterculture decade marked by activism and the Vietnam War. Students reflected this era fully; they were front and center in anti-war and civil rights movements and also the ones who were drafted. Against this backdrop, I dove head first into my work and learned a fundamental lesson that has shaped my educational philosophy ever since: When you help a young person discover his/her passion or talent and nurture that uniquely personal interest or set of skills, you unlock the door to all other learning. Oftentimes during the 60s, what drove students was a call to move away from the conformity that characterized the 1950s. As we encouraged students to find their own passions, we saw how they were transformed into great learners and leaders.

During the 1970s and 80s, as the global economy continued to grow and markets became more interdependent, education had to adapt to the new order. The International Baccalaureate answered the call. The IB, which was born in 1968, began to grow and take hold, offering a vigorous academic curriculum designed to cross -- and transcend -- national boundaries. IB schools envisioned a world in which students everywhere were equipped with the communication and critical thinking skills needed to bridge cultures and countries to collaborate and solve problems on a global scale. The IB has since expanded to meet this objective and today includes 4,335 public, private, and parochial schools worldwide.

The Digital Age rapidly accelerated the need for educators to prepare students to be global citizens and succeed in the competitive global marketplace, reinforcing the benefits of an IB education. Technology also transformed our markets: The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that while merchandise trade added approximately $2.7 trillion to the global economy in 2014, international data flow added $2.8 trillion that same year.

What does this mean for educators? We have to equip students with the ability to gather, assess, and interpret big data across disciplines -- skills that we could never have envisioned 50 years ago. Yesterday's art studios, science labs, and classrooms have been digitized. Today's learning spaces must continue to evolve into collaborative information-sharing hubs.

As educational infrastructures and facilities keep pace with new media and we build ever-higher-tech schools of the future, we must remind ourselves of the second fundamental lesson that I learned at the beginning of my career: There is simply no substitute for great teachers. Excellent, caring teachers who put the student first are the bedrock of an excellent education.#

Chancellor Stephen Spahn is the longest-serving head of school in New York City. Dwight School is a founding International Baccalaureate Prek-12 school in the United States and the first to offer the comprehensive IB curriculum in the Americas. Visit the Dwight School at https://www.dwight.edu/.


"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

The nature/nurture debate on the causes of mental disorder generates no end of silly controversy by proponents on both sides.

The biological reductionists act like the secret of psychiatric disorders is written in the genetic code. They are "mindless"- dismissing the crucial role of  environment in how our brain develops and of psychology and social context in how it functions.

The environmental reductionists go to the opposite "brainless" extreme-  argueing that a psychiatric disorder is a direct reflection of life stresses and dismissing the crucial role of biological vulnerability, particularly for the severe mental disorders.

Both sides fail to appreciate the complexity of interaction among biology, psychology, and social setting. The brain is the most complicated thing in the known universe. It contains more than 100 billion neurons (equal to the number of stars in our galaxy), each firing dozens to hundreds of times a second, and connected to each other by 240 trillion synapses. There is no way that our 20,000 genes could in any simple top/down fashion instruct the intricate wiring and firing of so many connections. The miracle is that this complex system usually works as well as it does.

Experience must play the crucial mediating role in facilitating appropriate adaptation. Neurons that fire together, wire together. It is equally silly to deny the role of biology in providing the hardware as it is to deny the role of experience in helping to shape the software.

Having a close relative with a psychiatric disorder is usually the most predictable risk factor for developing that disorder yourself, but the relationship is not inevitable. Even identical twins (who have identical genes) as often as not do not develop the same psychiatric disorder.

The intense fifty year search to figure out how heredity works has produced many hyped claims, false starts, blind alleys, and failed replications. This is a confusing minefield of contradictory findings, difficult for the non-expert to interpret.

Luckily we have the perfect guide. Steve Dubovsky MD is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Adjoint Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at the University of Colorado.

Dr Dubovsky writes: "You can hardly watch TV or open a magazine these days without coming across advertisements for practitioners with the latest scientific and most 'personalized' methods to diagnose and treat whatever might ail you. Among these modern wonders is the claim that genetic testing, can tell you exactly which medication will work best for your condition. Such promises are encouraged by an escalating number of studies demonstrating associations between versions (alleles) of various genes and illness subtypes, as well as increased availability of genetic testing.

Some of the information emerging from genetic studies currently has clinical applications in limited areas of medicine, a certain amount is deceptive, and most, while promising, is not yet ready for prime time. How can we tell these categories apart?

First some basic principles. Genes do not cause illnesses; they make proteins, usually by making messenger RNA. Because proteins have discrete functions, different proteins coded by different genes frequently interact with each other to produce complex manifestations called phenotypes.

Different genotypes (patterns of genes) produce different phenotypes. A few medical illnesses are phenotypes that are the downstream result of an aberrant allele of a single gene that produces a malfunctioning protein. For example, Huntington's disease is caused by an abnormal protein called huntingtin produced by a single defective gene. If you have the gene, you will get the illness. Not one of all the psychiatric disorders is in this category of simple gene causation.

Even though you are born with all the genes you will ever have, their expression varies over the lifetime and under different circumstances.

Many different interacting processes- environmental factors, experience, inner states, illnesses and medications- vary whether a gene does or does not get expressed. Because of 'epigenetics', the person's genotype (summary of alleles of various genes) does not inevitably predict phenotype.

This brings us to risk assessment based on genetics. About 10% of cases of breast cancer have a familial pattern that suggests the influence of a mutation of one of two genes, called BRCA1 and BRCA2. Although defective versions of these tumor suppressor genes (which produce proteins that block proliferation of cancer cells) convey a significantly increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer, only a small minority of women who have breast cancer have these genes. The breast is the simplest organ in the body, but we still don't understand much about the diseases associated with it.

It is therefore no surprise that is so difficult to sort out any consistent pattern for psychiatric disorders that are based on the most complicated interaction between a ridiculously complicated organ and a ridiculously complicated environment.

Every time a new study reports that a particular gene is found more frequently in people with a particular psychiatric disorder than normal subjects, it seems that the gene must be the cause of that disorder, or at least a reliable marker. And then another disorder turns out to have the same marker. And another. Or the study doesn't replicate at all.

What happened? For one thing, even though most major psychiatric disorders have a genetic component, that component is the sum of hundreds if not thousands of genes, each with a small effect, not to mention epigenetic influences on the expression of those genes.

It would take comparisons of millions of subjects with different diagnoses to show that a particular subtype is associated with a particular constellation of genes. And the finding would likely apply only to a very small percentage of people with the disorder.

In addition, there is a great deal of symptomatic overlap between psychiatric diagnoses (e.g., patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, delusional disorder, personality disorders and dementia can all experience psychosis). The genetic factors may be more related to discrete symptoms than to overall disorders.

The conclusion? There is not yet any genetic test for any of the  psychiatric disorders.

The next question is whether genetics can predict the effects of psychiatric meds.

The body's metabolic machinery for handling, breaking down, and eliminating xenobiotics (foreign material, usually from plants) consists of enzymes. These are proteins that move material in and out of cells (transporters) and receptors. Medications, many of which resemble plants, are affected by these enzymes, some of which have different levels of activity depending on the genes that code for them.

For example, one of the best studied metabolizing enzyme, cytochrome P450 2D6, has 4 major phenotypes depending on whether the genes inherited from mother and father convey great activity, moderate activity, or no activity. Even this apparent simple situation is complicated by the fact that it is possible to have multiple copies of the same functional or nonfunctional gene. The situation is complicated even further by the fact that most medications are metabolized by multiple enzymes, so if activity of one pathway is low, another pathway will hypertrophy to eliminate its substrate normally. Even if genotypes could predict the actual level of a medication in the blood, there is no clearly demonstrated relationship between blood level and clinical effect or side effects for most psychiatric medications.

A number of studies have attempted to take into consideration the actions of networks of enzymes and other proteins coded by multiple genes in predicting which medications will be best tolerated and/or most effective for a given patient. Of the independently funded studies, the Genome-Based Therapeutic Drugs for Depression (GENDEP), the Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) study, and the Munich Antidepressant Response Study, which involved a total of 2641 depressed patients, as well as the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) study involving 738 schizophrenia patients, found no combination of genetic markers that predicted treatment response.

In not surprising contrast, two studies supported by the manufacturer of a composite report of genotypes done on a total of only 271 patients found a positive result. Unlike the independently funded studies, patients were not assigned to receive genetic monitoring or no monitoring, and treatment and assessments were not blinded to the use of monitoring to guide treatment. As a result, the finding that patients whose antidepressant treatment was guided by genetic testing seemed to have a better outcome could well be due to patients with monitoring feeling better about getting a new approach or evaluators knowing whether monitoring was used. The company did a third study of 51 depressed patients who were randomly assigned to monitoring or no monitoring and had blinded assessments, but there were not significant differences between patients whose medications were or were not chosen according to genotype. In a fourth study from the same company, only 97 patients were studied with equally inconclusive results.

The Bottom Line: The rush to apply each new genetic finding to the clinic before it can be examined critically in studies that take into account the complexity of human neurobiology and experience is an example of the aphorism that the faster you go, the longer it takes to get where you are going. Right now, genetic studies give us an early insight into interacting dimensions of illness that are influenced not just by genes, but by interactions of genes with regulatory components, experience, and the actual illness and its treatment.

The fact that we cannot yet directly translate the influence of genetic factors into practice does not mean that this research is not helpful. When we learn how to consider specific features that are more closely tied to genetic influences, and how to assess the expression and interactions of multiple genes, and when studies are conducted that are designed to compare outcomes in different and very large populations, we will be better able to start to apply gene network findings to predicting aspects of treatment outcome.

But no matter what emerges in further research, we will never be able to do without the expertise and experience of clinicians and the depth of human experience. Anything less than that would be demeaning for patients and boring for clinicians."

Thanks so much, Dr Dubovsky, for clarifying the murk that surrounds genetic testing.

Decoding the genome has been one of mankind's greatest intellectual achievements- an affirmation of all that is best in human nature. Selling the genome before its time for greedy commercial gain is an example of intellectual dishonesty that reflects a less exalted part of human nature.

The work of understanding psychiatric disorder will require decades, not years. Most seeming break-throughs will turn out to be busts. There will be no home runs, no walks, many strike-outs, and only occasional singles. Progress will be steady, but frustratingly slow. In the meantime, the good news is that we already have very effective treatments, if only they were much more accessible and applied more specifically to those who really need them.

The Juilliard School will confer honorary doctorates on five remarkable artists during its 111th Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 20, 2016, at 11am in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center (Broadway at 65th Street, New York City). Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, actress and alumna Christine Baranski, jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter, actress Cicely Tyson, and former dancer and Alvin Ailey II Artistic Director Emerita Sylvia Waters, an alumna of Juilliard, will be honored at the May 2016 Commencement Ceremony. Christine Baranski will give Juilliard's Commencement Address. Juilliard President Joseph W. Polisi will read special citations and present degrees to all five honorees, who will be garbed in Juilliard's traditional academic robes and velvet caps, and will receive their ceremonial doctoral hoods onstage. The ceremony will be live streamed at live.juilliard.edu.

Receiving Juilliard's Honorary Doctor of Music:

Leif Ove Andsnes: Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes's commanding technique and searching interpretations have won him acclaim worldwide. This past fall, Concerto - A Beethoven Journey, a documentary by award-winning British director and filmmaker Phil Grabsky was released. The film chronicles Mr. Andsnes's epic four-season focus on the master composer's music for piano and orchestra, which took him to 108 cities in 27 countries for more than 230 live performances. Highlights of this current season include major European and North American solo recital tours with a program of Beethoven, Debussy, Chopin, and Sibelius, as well as Schumann and Mozart concerto collaborations with the Chicago, Cleveland, and Philadelphia symphony orchestras, Bergen Philharmonic, Zurich Tonhalle, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Munich Philharmonic, and London Symphony Orchestra, among others. He is also touring Brahms's three piano quartets with his frequent musical partner, Christian Tetzlaff, together with Tabea Zimmermann and Clemens Hagen.

Last season brought the conclusion of "The Beethoven Journey," his most ambitious achievement to date. With the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, he led complete Beethoven concerto cycles from the keyboard in high-profile residencies in Hamburg, Bonn, Lucerne, Vienna, Paris, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo, Bodø, and London. The partnership was captured on disc by Sony Classical with both The New York Times and Suddeutsche Zeitung hailing the final box set release as the "Best of 2014."

Mr. Andsnes now records exclusively for Sony Classical. His previous discography comprises more than 30 discs for EMI Classics spanning repertoire from the time of Bach to the present day. He has been nominated for eight Grammys and awarded many international prizes, including six Gramophone Mr. Andsnes has received Norway's distinguished honor, Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. Other awards include the Peer Gynt Prize, the Royal Philharmonic Society's Instrumentalist Award, and the Gilmore Artist Award; Vanity Fair named Andsnes one of the "Best of the Best" in 2005.

Wayne Shorter: The music of Wayne Shorter has left an indelible mark on the development of music for the last half-century. He first rose to prominence in the late 1950s as the primary composer for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. He next joined the Miles Davis Quintet becoming what that bandleader referred to as the ensemble's "intellectual musical catalyst" before co-founding the pioneering group Weather Report. Since 2001, he has led his own highly acclaimed quartet.

"Mr. Shorter's mastery is in knocking down the wall between jazz and classical" (New York Times) and the Chicago Symphony, Lyon Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra are among the orchestras that have performed his symphonic compositions. Acclaimed artists and ensembles such as Renée Fleming and the Imani Winds have also performed his works.

He has received commissions from the St. Louis, Nashville, Detroit and National Symphony Orchestras, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the La Jolla Music Society. In all, Mr. Shorter has realized over 200 compositions, works that are performed around the world by premiere artists and studied by students and scholars alike.

Mr. Shorter's outstanding record of professional achievement includes 11 Grammys including a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 2015. He has received Honorary Doctorates from New York University, New England Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music. In 1997, the National Endowment for the Arts presented Wayne Shorter with the Jazz Master Award.

In his current symphonic work, Mr. Shorter continues to evolve the dynamic between fully realized score and improvisation creating, in his words, a "flashlight into the unknown." "I want to inspire the audience to feel what might be necessary in order to continue their journey in this life in a way that has never been done before," says Mr. Shorter, "so that we can have a new way of dialoguing based on being comfort zone free, and summoning the courage to fearlessly face the unknown and negotiate the

Receiving Juilliard's Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts:

Christine Baranski: One of the industry's most honored actresses, Christine Baranski, has achieved acclaim in every medium in which she has performed. She is an Emmy, two-time Tony, Screen Actors Guild, Drama Desk, and American Comedy Award winner.

A native of Buffalo, Ms. Baranski attended Juilliard. She received her big break being cast in Tom Stoppard's hit Broadway comedy, The Real Thing, directed by Mike Nichols for which she won a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award. She went on to earn a second Tony Award for her performance in Neil Simon's Rumors. She also appeared in Boeing-Boeing; Hurlyburly; The House of Blue Leaves; The Loman Family Picnic; Regrets Only; Encores! productions of Follies; Promises, Promises; and On Your Toes; and the Kennedy Center productions of Sweeney Todd and Mame. Off Broadway, she appeared in five plays at the Manhattan Theatre Club, as well as in productions at Playwrights Horizons, Lincoln Center Theater, and the Public Theater. Regionally, she performed in works by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Molière, Shaw, Sam Shepard, and Jules Feiffer.

In addition to the Emmy for hit CBS comedy, Cybill, Ms. Baranski received an American Comedy Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy." She also received three additional Emmy and three Golden Globe nominations. She was also seen as a guest on Frasier, for which she received a fifth Emmy nomination. She has appeared on multiple episodes of the CBS series, The Big Bang Theory, and received three Emmy nominations for "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series" twice. She is currently starring in the hit CBS series, The Good Wife, for which she received six Emmy nominations for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series" and two Critics' Choice Television Award

Her film credits include Miss Sloane, Into the Woods, Mamma Mia!, Chicago, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Bowfinger, Bulworth, Cruel Intentions, The Birdcage, Reversal of Fortune, Legal Eagles, The Ref, Addams Family Values, Welcome to Mooseport, The Guru, 9 1⁄2 Weeks, and Jeffrey.

Cicely Tyson: Actress, advocate, and humanitarian, Cicely Tyson is renowned for her portrayals of strong female characters on stage, screen, and television, from her stunning initial stage appearance as Barbara Allen in Dark of the Moon to her triumphant 2013 return to Broadway after a 30-year hiatus when she appeared as Mother Carrie Watts in Horton Foote's The Trip to Bountiful for which she received rave reviews and the triple crown of theater awards: The Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress in a Play. Ms. Tyson appeared on the Broadway stage in September 2015 in The Gin Game, co-starring James Earl Jones.

Best known for her double Emmy performance (Best Lead Actress in a Drama, as well as a special, unprecedented Emmy Award for Actress of the Year) as Jane in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, Ms. Tyson was also nominated for an Academy Award for Sounder and received the third Emmy Award for The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All and was nominated for her performances in Roots, King, Sweet Justice, The Marva Collins Story, and A Lesson before Dying. Her film credits include The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Fried Green Tomatoes, Because of Winn-Dixie, Hoodlum, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea's Family Reunion, Why Did I Get Married Too?, The Help, and Alex Cross.

In March 2014, Ms. Tyson served as executive producer of the film version of The Trip to Bountiful, presented on Lifetime television network. In 1977, as a student of the American Film Institute, Ms. Tyson directed the one-act play, Save Me a Place at Forest Lawn.

In recognition of her talent, dedication, and contributions, Ms. Tyson has been the recipient of countless awards, including numerous honorary doctorates, most recently by Columbia University in 2014, as well as an unprecedented number of NAACP Image Awards. Other notable honors have been bestowed on her by the Princess Grace Foundation, National Urban League, National Council of Negro Women, National Civil Rights Museum, and organizations: PUSH, CORE, SCLC, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. Ms. Tyson is among the elite number of entertainers honored with a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame and is the recipient of the NAACP's highest honor, the prestigious Spingarn Award.

Since 1996, Ms. Tyson has served as the guiding force of the Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts. This $143 million institution of academic and creative expression, in East Orange, New Jersey, serves 1,200 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Ms. Tyson continues to develop her art as she takes on new roles and opportunities.

Sylvia Waters: Since Alvin Ailey II's inception over 40 years ago, Artistic Director Emerita Sylvia B. Waters has been responsible for the growth and expansion of one of the country's most vibrant young dance companies.

Ms. Waters received her Bachelor of Science degree in dance from Juilliard, where she studied with Antony Tudor, Martha Graham, Alfredo Corvino, and Mary Hinkson.

She toured in the European company of Black Nativity and while living in Paris, she worked with Michel Descombey, then director of the Paris Opera Ballet, as well as Milko Sparembleck. She also performed in Donald McKayle's European production of Black New World and worked with Maurice Béjart's company performing in Brussels and at the summer Olympics in Mexico City.

Upon returning to the United States in 1968, Ms. Waters joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In 1975, Mr. Ailey personally chose her to become artistic director of Ailey II until she stepped down in 2012. Ms. Waters is the recipient of many awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from the State University of New York at Oswego, a "Bessie" Award, the Legacy Award as part of the 20th annual IABD Festival, Syracuse University's Women of Distinction Award, and the prestigious Dance Magazine Award.

She has served on a number of panels including the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Department of Cultural Affairs.

In the spring of 2010, she was a visiting professor at Harvard University. Currently, she leads The Ailey Legacy Residency, a lecture, technique, and repertory program for college-level students that looks definitely into the history and creative heritage of Alvin Ailey. Ms. Waters is a consultant to the Ailey Archives and is interviewing former Ailey personnel - dancers and choreographers - for an oral history project. #

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards


He-student-winner.jpgRecently, Karen He, grade 12 at The Child School in NYC, was one of the winners at the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her painting, called Sad Man, won a Gold Key for drawing and illustration. Her educator was Yang Zhao.

This exhibition features more than six hundred works of art and writing by New York City teens who received the highest regional recognition in the 2016 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards--the Gold Key Award. Presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Art & Writing Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in the United States. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is honored to host this year's exhibition and celebrate the creativity of these young artists.

This year as many as 3,500 students in grades seven through twelve submitted more than 13,000 works to the New York City region of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, encompassing more than 300 schools in all five boroughs. In addition, 150 literary and visual-arts professionals served as judges, selecting works based on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of a personal voice or vision.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers' mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent, and present their visionary work to the world through exhibition, publication, recognition, and scholarship. Established in 1923, the Alliance's Scholastic Art & Writing Awards brings the work of young people to regional and national audiences. Former recipients include artists Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Kay WalkingStick, and John Baldessari--all represented in the Met's collection--and writers Sylvia Plath, Truman Capote, Myla Goldberg, and Joyce Carol Oates.

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers partners with Parsons The New School for Design and Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts to present the New York City regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, with additional program support provided by Pratt Institute.#

Paintings by Linda Sirow


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Lemonade Stand Gallery
2016 Small Works

March 18 - April 18

318 Petronia Street 
Key West, Florida

Phyllis L Kossoff

Women Shaping History-2016

Inspiration for Career PathWhen our firstborn, a daughter, failed to thrive, beset by wheezing and chronic cough, she was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), an unknown genetic disease with a life expectancy of 3-5 years. Dealing as best we could with this traumatic revelation, my husband, Burt, and I sought the few known other parents of CF children. Banding together we set out to save our young.

Challenges and Resolutions: Armed only with youth and a fierce determination, we began a long journey to combat Cystic Fibrosis. Those initial meetings in New York laid the groundwork for the creation of the National Cystic Fibrosis Research Foundation, now the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). During the formative years, long before cell phones or the internet, Cystic Fibrosis was not a paragraph nor even a line in any medical text. As chair of the New York area Greater New York/ Northern New Jersey Chapter, I worked feverishly. Marshalling family, friends, and an extraordinary cadre of citizen volunteers and members of the media, we mounted an intensive campaign to educate the medical profession and create public awareness. Capitalizing on this momentum, I guided the organization of the first of many public appeal crusades that lead to over 400,000 households annually receiving information about CF as part of our multilevel fundraising, furthering the CF care and research agenda.

In the 1960s, the populace was slowly becoming aware of the unrelenting menace of this insidious disease, which if untreated, suffocated the lungs and starved the body. One on 31 people is a carrier of the gene that causes CF, impacting 30,000 people in North America and 70,000 worldwide. Managing CF requires a time consuming daily regimen of medications and treatments (chest physical therapy and exercise, mucous thinning aerosols, antibiotics, and a myriad of enzymes and digestive supplements). To minimize lung damage, care needs to be taken to protect against respiratory infection. In the early years, numerous clinical visits and hospitalizations, were a constant. The physical, emotional/psychosocial, and financial toll placed upon CF children and their families was enormous.

Beginning in 1961, aided by exceptional volunteers, expert medical representation, and the good offices of Senator Jacob Javits, I spearheaded a successful 4 year lobbying effort. Testifying before the NY State Joint committee on Mental Retardation and Physical Handicap, we petitioned to have CF children specifically included in the New York State Aid Program of the Crippled Children's Service Act and Title IX Medicare. These programs still benefit CF families today.

Elected to the National Board of the CFF, I served as Region II Trustee. As founding President of the New York Chapter, incorporating the Junior Committee and Professional Businessmen's Committee, always with the assistance of my husband and a singularly dedicated Board, I directed a vigorous 17 year education, research and care program resulting in historic net monies to the advancement of national CF medical research .

Turning PointIn her freshman year at Barnard , Stefi, my daughter lost her battle with cystic fibrosis. Scant solace that at 19 she had exceeded the CF median life expectancy, then 10 years of age. The outpouring of grief and sorrow gave testimony to the beauty and grace of this young life lived with incomparable inner strength and courage. "Before she died, she lived" Devastated by this loss, I cut back my work in cystic fibrosis. After a few years, driven by what I perceived as my unfulfilled mission, and a relentless imperative to validate my daughter's legacy, I once again assumed leadership service.

In 1983, as a founding member and President of the reconstituted Cystic Fibrosis Association of Greater New York, with nearly all of the overhead costs covered by donated services, we enlisted a wide spectrum of support of representatives of the arts, sports, broadcast and print media, business and medical community, area organizations, with city, state and national governmental representation. With continued emphasis on Cystic Fibrosis research, care and education agenda, we expanded program inaugurating three new concentrates.

The Medical Grants Program focused on genetic and biomedical research with proposals peer-reviewed by the expert team of researchers and clinicians of the CFA Medical Advisory Council. Grants were awarded to clinical and basic researchers at lending medical institutions in the greater New York area. The Career Awards Scholarship Grants Program was launched in 1987 to assist young adults with CF in school and the working world. This program, the first of its kind, served as a prototype for the rest of the nation as it answered to the needs of a newly emerging CF young adult population. The program was renamed in 1999 for dear friend and devoted colleague, Dr. John Z. Jacoby III, a physician and mentor who succumbed to the disease himself in November 1997.

Taken before his time, in April 2000, my beloved husband and CFA's magnificent leader and benefactor, lost his battle with melanoma. In 2001, The Burton Kossoff CF Young Adult Memorial Grants Program was initiated. The program, tailored to their special needs, served to facilitate the transition of CF patients to complete support and adult care. With improvement in quality of life, and median life expectancy at 30 years, and a now foreseeable control and cure for cystic fibrosis, I retired.

Influential MentorsCircumstances of my life confluenced, I think, to prepare me for the challenges to come. Having been raised in a single parent household, (my father died when I was two), needing to care for her family, my mother was the first woman manufacturer's representative in the pape industry. I grew up schooled in the dictum that No was the beginning of a conversation. Notwithstanding, my childhood was happy as I recall, but always with the knowledge that it was my responsibility to "get on with it". Graduated from Hunter College, at 20 years of age I was teaching as a substitute in the New York School System. Securing an appointment after multiple examinations, I had a full position on a common-branch license teaching in junior high school in East Harlem while finishing my M.A. at Teacher's College, Columbia, at night. Living in a different time, I had no opportunity to "find myself". At 21 years of age, I was married.

Coping with my daughter's illness, in unchartered waters, I was for the most part, selfmentored. My lifelong habit of collecting aphorisms just segued here where at the onset I thought, "better to light a candle than to curse the darkness". During the ensuing more difficult years, I exhorted myself with "man stumbles over pebbles, but never over mountains." As time went on my personal and often spoken mantra became "no matter how long the night, the day is sure to come".

That said, however, in matters medical I was privileged to have the ongoing counsel of Carolyn R. Denning, M.D. , a pioneer and visionary in the field of cystic fibrosis. Dr. Denning served as Director of the CF center, at the Babies Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and subsequently as Director of CF Center at St. Vincent's Hospital Medical Center. I was aided and encouraged by the first chairman of CFA's Medical Advisory Council, Richard J. Bonforte, M.D. Professor of Pediatrics and Director of Mount Sinai CF Center. We are more than grateful also for the many years of selfless service of Medical Chair, James P. Smith M.D., Professor of Clinical Medicine at Cornell University Medical College.

Future GoalsAfter "my retirement", I thought to go on a nice long vacation. Encouraged, however, by the impactful annual lecture in pathogenesis and treatment of cystic fibrosis, established in my daughter, Stephanie's, memory at the Babies Hospital Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center 37 years ago, I decided to inaugurate a similar discourse in honor of my husband. At Baruch College, Burton Kossoff was a founding member and 20 year Trustee of the Baruch College Fund and Trustee Emeritus of the College.

The Burton Kossoff Leadership Lecture established in 2003 is an enormously eventful annual showcasing corporate heads who share their perspectives on the most pressing business issues of the day, and strategies of the most successful business leaders. This series has included Jack Welch, CEO of General Electric; Richard Parsons, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner and Ian Cook, Chairman, President and CEO of Colgate-Palmolive. The Tenth Anniversary lecture presented to an overflow audience of students, faculty and alumni, was delivered by Henry R. Kravis, Co-Founder, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts and Company.

Seduced by the slowly stirring long dormant recollections of the challenges and rewards of the academic arena, my attention gravitated towards my alma matter, Hunter College, where citing "significant achievement and contributions to society", I had been privileged to be inducted in 1997 into the "Hunter Hall of Fame". Excited by the new energy on campus and the projected renaissance of Roosevelt House as a Public Policy Institute, I expanded my now growing network with the annual Phyllis L. Kossoff Lecture. This lecture provides a forum that brings leading figures in public life to Roosevelt House (where Franklin and Eleanor had lived) for conversation and reflection on pressing issues of domestic and international concern. Speakers have included Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O'Connor ; marriage equality litigators, David Boies and Ted Olsen; former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) and Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, then UN Under Secretary General for gender equality and empowerment of women.

Since 2001, I have served on the President's Advisory Council (PAC) of Teacher's College, Columbia University. My lectureship at TC in education and policy, has been particularly rewarding. In 2009, the college hosted U.S Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and in subsequent years: Meryl Tisch, Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents; Dennis Wolcott and Carmen Farina, Chancellors of the New York City Public Schools. On February 4th of this year, the first major policy address of the new State Commissioner of Education, Mary Ellen Elia was delivered at TC. Teachers College has characterized the Kossoff Lecture as "helping to establish TC as the nation's premier address for the national conversation in education."

Proudest AccomplishmentsProud is a difficult word. I am immensely gratified to have been a part of the monumental effort that has seen the dramatic climb of Cystic Fibrosis median life expectancy from 3-5 years to over 40 years today. With current advances in quality of life, sophisticated medicines specifically targeting the basic genetic defect, enhanced airway clearance techniques and transformative treatments, Cystic Fibrosis poised to become a manageable disease for many. 

Personal satisfaction has been mine through the vibrancy afforded my life's existence by the interaction with students, faculty and the towering personalities that have become the hallmark of the Kossoff Lectures.

For true pride in accomplishment, I point to my beloved and supportive family - my extraordinary son and daughter-in-law, and my four incomparable grandsons.

The Gateway School is seeking an experienced educator and leader as Director of Lower School effective July 1, 2016.  The Director will report to the Head of School and provide administrative and programmatic oversight for the faculty and students in the Lower School.  Working closely with the Head of School and key administrators, the Director will be responsible for furthering Gateway's mission to transform the lives of its students by developing them into confident, motivated, independent learners.

 The Gateway School exemplifies the maxim that schools are best when they focus intensely on the needs of students. Based on the philosophy that all children can learn, Gateway's proven approach to teaching students with language-based learning challenges and attention issues makes it an ideal place for children to learn.  Its overall size, its well-qualified and trained faculty, the school's skilled leadership team, and a warm, friendly culture make the opportunity to lead Gateway's Lower School exciting. 

The Director of Lower School will work with students, parents, faculty and an administrative team.  Just as Gateway students benefit from close attention, so do their parents.  The Director will need to know each student and his family situation well and be responsive to parents' concerns.  In concert with the administrative team, the Director will train and support faculty and enhance the integration of curriculum within and across divisions.  Since there is a plan to grow Gateway, the next Director of the Lower School will need to be ready to adapt the program and the use of time and space as enrollment increases.  Whether working internally or with families, the Director of Lower School will be responsible for continuously fostering a sense of community in and around the Lower School.

To learn more about The Gateway School please visit our website:  www.gatewayschool.org. To view the complete position description and application instructions, please go to: http://www.carneysandoe.com/Schools/Leadership-Search-Services/Current-Searches/Gateway-School-of-New-York.aspx.

The Gateway School is an equal opportunity employer.


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