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Art and Heart: The World of Isaiah Sheffer

Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies and Emeritus Professors in Columbia invite you to an EPIC/SPS Talk and Film Screening

ART AND HEART: THE WORLD OF ISAIAH SHEFFER, a documentary by Catherine Tambini, is an acclaimed celebration of Isaiah Sheffer, a beloved cultural figure in New York City. Sheffer’s life and work are shared lovingly via intercuts of archival material, interviews with friends and colleagues, and stage performances. “His voice was like having warm butterscotch poured over your head,” recalls Stephen Colbert. Leonard Nimoy remembers Isaiah as “endlessly creative.” Jane Curtin thought “he was so much fun.” Isaiah Sheffer had a unique wit and humor that suffused everything he did. “His ebullient personality shines through,” said the Hollywood Reporter’s review of the film.

The documentary delves into the life of the man whom many knew only as the host of Selected Shorts on public radio, or the driving force and artistic director of Symphony Space, or the originator of Bloomsday on Broadway, or the comic genius behind the Thalia Follies. In addition to all of those successes, Sheffer was an Emmy-nominated writer and producer. He was an actor, director, musical librettist and lyricist, and a cultural entrepreneur. He was a husband to Columbia University Adjunct Professor Ethel Sheffer and father, and a mentor to many. The film explores his life, his impact on the arts scene, and the tremendous effect he had on those around him.

Following the 53-minute film screening, Ethel Sheffer (Adjunct Professor of Architecture, Planning and Preservation) and Catherine Tambini ("Hate Rising with Jorge Ramos") will discuss the film and the legacy of Isaiah Sheffer.

EPIC/SPS Talks, with discussion, are a collaboration between three organizations: Emeritus Professors in Columbia (EPIC); Columbia University School of Professional Studies (SPS); and Morningside Retirement and Health Services (MRHS).


Additional Speakers

Catherine Tambini

Ethel Sheffer