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An Evening with Spike Lee: America Through My Lens

Posted: August 16, 2011

Buffalo State’s Leadership Lecture Series, in conjunction with the Year of the Arts, proudly announces “An Evening with Spike Lee: America Through My Lens,” Friday, September 30, at 8:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall.

Lee will speak about his career as a writer, director, actor, producer, author, and educator. Before the lecture, Lee will also visit with students from Buffalo State’s prestigious television and film arts program.

"We are thrilled to have Spike Lee come to campus as the featured guest in our lecture series—particularly this year, the Year of the Arts at Buffalo State,” said Eileen Merberg, retention and leadership specialist at Buffalo State. “We are particularly excited about Lee’s willingness to spend some extra time with our television and film arts students, allowing them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for some one-on-one guidance and advice."

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Lee attended Morehouse College. After graduation, he returned to Brooklyn to continue his education at New York University’s Tisch School of Arts in Manhattan, where he received his master of fine arts in film production. In 1986, Lee founded 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, based in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn where he has resided since childhood. 

Lee’s critical and box office successes have included such films as Inside Man, 25th Hour, The Original Kings of Comedy, Bamboozled, and Summer of Sam. Lee’s films Girl 6, Get On the Bus, Do the Right Thing, and Clockers displayed his ability to challenge cultural assumptions, not only about race, but class and gender identity as well. His debut film, the independently produced comedy She’s Gotta Have It, earned him the Prix de Jeunesse Award at the Cannes Film festival in 1986 and set him at the forefront of the Black New Wave in American Cinema. His second feature, the critically acclaimed School Daze, helped launch the careers of several young black actors. Lee’s timely 1989 film, Do the Right Thing, garnered an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film and Director awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Lee’s Jungle Fever, Mo’ Better Blues, Clockers, and Crooklyn were also well received by critics and fans alike. His epic drama Malcolm X starring Denzel Washington, received two Academy Award nominations.

Lee’s latest endeavor is the documentary If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise, which revisits the recently storm-ravaged Gulf Coast region as residents attempt to rebuild in their cities while also demanding assistance and accountability from their political leaders. This film comes on the heels of When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, the groundbreaking first documentary that followed the plight of Americans stranded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

Tickets go on sale to Buffalo State students on Monday, August 29, starting at 9:00 a.m. for $5 (limit two per ID). Remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public for $20 ($15 for Buffalo State faculty and staff) starting on Tuesday, September 6. The Rockwell Hall Box Office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., while the Campbell Student Union Box Office hours are 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event is generously funded by M&T Bank, the Faculty Student Association, and an Auxiliary Services Grant, with support from United Students Government.

For more information, please call (716) 878-3407.

About the Year of the Arts at Buffalo State

The 2011–2012 academic year is the Year of the Arts at Buffalo State. Join us on campus and in the community as we showcase established and emerging artists and celebrate the importance of art in all we do. An anchor institution in Buffalo’s cultural corridor, Buffalo State is proud to partner with local arts organizations in this non-stop celebration of creativity. Come enjoy performances, exhibitions, workshops, speakers, and more. For a listing of events, visit

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