North Quad Programming is a university-driven, student-focused, multimedia event programming initiative that produces and hosts innovative events and provides event support for the North Quad, University of Michigan and Ann Arbor community.

We work with students, faculty and staff to facilitate events intended to:
  • Encourage hands-on experimentation with new technology
  • Facilitate collaborative educational activity outside of the classroom
  • Support integration between building constituents and the wider university community
  • Promote awareness of the larger global perspective
  • Provide funding and consultation support for selected student-organized events

What’s New?

Announcing the North Quad Documentary Film Night

By | event, screenings, space 2435, Uncategorized | No Comments

It may be a mind-bogglingly busy Autumn at the University of Michigan – filled with coursework, events, projects, and (of course) massive quantities of caffeine – but that doesn’t mean there isn’t enough time to travel the world. Join us once a month in Space 2435 for the North Quad Documentary Film Series and experience the lives of telemarketers in India, University students in Southeast China, astronomers in the driest desert on Earth, and even wealthy tourists in a Bolivian silver mine. See more details below:



BurdenofdreamBurden of Dreams

Monday, September 9th: 6-8pm

1982, 95 minutes, directed by Les Blank


A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog’s epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively driven director. Not only does he have major casting problems, losing both Jason Robards (health) and Mick Jagger (other commitments) halfway through shooting, but the crew gets caught up in a war between Peru and Ecuador, there are problems with the weather and the morale of cast and crew is falling rapidly.




Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night

Monday, October 28: 6-8pm

26 minutes, directed by Sonali Gulati

A documentary about the outsourcing of American jobs to India. From the perspective of an Indian immigrant living in the United States, using humor and satire to capture the lives of Indian telemarketers who undergo voice and accent training to speak to US customers with an American accent. A complex look at life as per Eastern Standard Time in India.

*Post-screening discussion led by Prasanna Vengadam: Outsourcing of jobs is a reality in today’s global economy.  What’s the impact of this phenomenon on the culture and people in India – a common destination for global business?  How does it affect the Indian American community living here in Michigan? And in the greater society we live and work?   

Prasanna Vengadam is the founding president of South Asian American Voices For Impact (SAAVI).  SAAVI is a non-profit, non-partisan community organization to serve specific issues of South Asian Americans through advocacy, education, and outreach efforts (

RSVP on Facebook




The Dialogue

The Dialogue

Monday, November 11: 6-8pm

2013, directed by Arnd Wacther

The Dialogue is a feature documentary that follows four American and four Chinese university students as they travel together through Hong Kong and Southwest China. Intrigued by the complex context of Sino-US relations, the characters engage deeply with one another by exploring elements of meaningful dialogue and cultural identity. Their shared travel adventures, emotions of culture shock, honest confrontations and discoveries about each other become doorways to deepen their understanding of the “other” and themselves.

A post-screening discussion hosted by the Global Scholars Program will follow. Screened in collaboration with the Language Resource Center and Global Scholars Department as part of International Education Week. Film was created by Crossing Borders Education (CBE) and co-produced by Michigan State University (MSU).

RSVP on Facebook

[/framed_box] [framed_box]

Say My NameSay My Name

Monday, December 9: 6-8pm

2009, 75 minutes, directed by Nirit Peled

In a hip-hop and r&b world dominated by men and noted for misogyny, the unstoppable female lyricists of SAY MY NAME speak candidly about class, race, and gender in pursuing their passions as female emcees. This worldwide documentary takes viewers on [a] vibrant tour of urban culture[s] and musical movement[s], from hip hop’s birthplace in the Bronx, to grime on London’s Eastside and all points Philly, Detroit, Chica go, Atlanta, and L.A. in between … Delves into the amazing personal stories of women balancing professional dreams with the stark realities of poor urban communities, race, sexism, and motherhood, as the more than 18 artist featured in [the film] battle for a place in a society that creates few chances for women. From emerging artists filled with new creativity, to true pioneers like MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, and Monie Love, these are women turning adversity into art

*Post-screening discussion and performance co-hosted by the Hip Hop Congress.

RSVP on Facebook



Nostalgia for the LightNostalgia for the Light

Thursday, January 23: 7-9pm

2011, 90 minutes, Directed by Petricio Guzman

Director Patricio Guzman travels to the driest place on earth, Chile’s Atacama Desert, where astronomers examine distant galaxies, archaeologists uncover traces of ancient civilizations, and women dig for the remains of disappeared relatives.

RSVP on Facebook



All in theis Tea

All in This Tea

Thursday, February 13: 7-9pm

2007, 70 minutes, directed by Les Blank & Gina Leibrecht

During the 1990s, David Lee Hoffman searched throughout China for the finest teas. He’s a California importer who, as a youth, lived in Asia for years and took tea with the Dali Lama. Hoffman’s mission is to find and bring to the U.S. the best hand picked and hand processed tea. This search takes him directly to farms and engages him with Chinese scientists, business people, and government officials: Hoffman wants tea grown organically without a factory, high-yield mentality. By 2004, Hoffman has seen success: there are farmer’s collectives selling tea, ways to export “boutique tea” from China, and a growing Chinese appreciation for organic farming’s best friend, the earthworm.

Special tea-tasting hosted by TeaHaus Ann Arbor

RSVP on Facebook



Koryo SaryamKoryo Saram, the Unreliable People

Thursday, March 13: 7-9pm

2006, 60 minutes, Directed by David Chung and Matt Dibble. Executive Producer: Meredith Jung-En Woo

In 1937, Stalin began a campaign of massive ethnic cleansing and forcibly deported everyone of Korean origin living in the coastal provinces of the Far East Russia near the border of North Korea to the unsettled steppe country of Central Asia 3700 miles away. The story of 180,000 Koreans who became political pawns during the Great Terror is the central focus of this film.

Screening will be followed by a presentation and discussion with the filmmaker, David Chung, who is also a Professor at the University of Michigan School of Art & Design.

RSVP on Facebook



Can't do it in EuropeCan’t do it in Europe

Thursday, April 10: 7-9pm

2006, 46 minutes, directed by Charlotta Copcutt, Anna Weitz & Anna Klara Ahrén

A look at the unlikely tourist destination of Potosí, Bolivia, where wealthy travelers pay for the right to experience an authentic Third World silver mine.


The North Quad Programming Student Event Grant

By | event, grant, student | No Comments

Event Grant Poster

Student teams from North Quad and across the University of Michigan are invited to apply for the North Quad Programming Student Event Grant to receive funding of up to $500 to support an event in Space 2435 or the Media Gateway during the Winter 2014 semester. Innovative events that are collaboratively organized, international-themed and make use of the unique technology in each space will be given priority. Two grants will be offered per semester.

-Applications can be submit by student organizations or independent student teams
-Events should align with the vision of the North Quad common spaces (Space 2435 and the Media Gateway): collaborative, innovative, with technology and/or international themes, open to the North Quad and UM campus community
-Collaboration with departments or programs within North Quad are encouraged. A list of programs in the building and links to their individual websites can be viewed HERE
-For more information about Space 2435 and the Media Gateway, visit Spaces.
-Examples of other past events in Space 2435 and the Media Gateway can be viewed at Past Events.
-Fall 2013 event recipients: Transgender Day of Awareness and the North Quad MakersFest

Application deadline: Monday, December 16, 2013

Button Text

Taring Padi Exhibition in Space 2435

By | event, exhibition, indonesia, north quad, screenings, space 2435, taring padi, university of michigan | No Comments


Through art, they began building an understanding amongst the people to fight against injustice, helping to forge a community aware of environmental, social, political, and cultural issues, inviting the community to be active and courageous in voicing their real life experiences and their opinions on the performance of government. (Sinaga)

The year 1998 is a period of Indonesian history marked by political unrest, ethnic conflict, and general disorder following the end of Suharto’s New Order regime. It is also, however, a period marked by student activism and the fight of the Indonesian people to rise above such chaos. It was in this context that the group Taring Padi (translated as “the fang of the rice plant”) emerged in the city of Yogyakarta, a city that is known for its vibrant and long tradition of both arts and activism.

Taring Padi, commonly referred to as TP, was first formed by students from Yogyakarta’s institute of art known as ISI (Institut Kesenian Yogyakarta). Influenced by an ideology of budaya kerakyatan or people oriented culture, these individuals had a desire to pick up where student activists had left off following the beginning of the reformation period in early 1998. As Toni Volunteero, one of Taring Padi’s initial founders states, there were still many social, political, and economic concerns faced by the Indonesian populace at this time. With a desire to represent those whose voices were rarely heard, Taring Padi set forth with a goal to create art that would both help to educate and give a voice to marginalized communities.

While Taring Padi was initially formed by art students from ISI, it did not take long for individuals with no background in the arts to join in the collective action of this group. An important characteristic of Taring Padi is the democratic collectivism that underlies all artistic production and activity. While in the last decade Taring Padi has been recognized as a part of Yogyakarta and Indonesia’s art history, at its core, Taring Padi is first and foremost a collective of social activists.

Nearly fifteen years after its inception, Taring Padi’s message has not only reached various communities in Indonesia but has also travelled abroad creating a network that is truly global. Taring Padi has participated in workshops in countries including Australia, East-Timor, and Thailand. The relaxed nature of this group and the desire of the second generation of Taring Padi members, who are now carrying on the activities of their predecessors, reinforce the significance that continues to be placed on the necessity of drawing attention to issues faced by marginalized populations in Indonesia as well as abroad.

Since the inception of Taring Padi in December 1998, the work of this group has focused on themes related to the social and political concerns of the Indonesian people. Resembling the style of propaganda posters, the imposing realism of Taring Padi’s work leaves a strong impression on the viewer. While themes present in Taring Padi’s work such as anti-violence, humans rights, and equality are universal, a particular emphasis is placed on the struggles of laborers and farmers. In order to examine in more depth the ideology of Taring Padi expressed through their art and activism, this exhibition divides the twenty prints on display into four categories including: anti-violence, anti-corruption, empowerment and activism, and politics. Working through these larger themes, the context in which each print was created and the message it portrays demonstrates the universality and density of meaning present in each print. As one views these images it cannot be ignored how the concerns of artists and activists in Indonesia reflect the issues faced by marginalized populations throughout the world.

Sinaga, D. (2011). “Taring Padi: Not for the sake of a fine arts discourse.” Taring Padi: Seni membongkar tirani. Yogyakarta, Indonesia: Lumbung Press.

EXHIBITION DATES: February 22 – March 16, 2013
Space 2435, North Quad (located on the corner of S. State & E.
Washington St. in the North Quad building)


  • Friday, February 22, 1-6pm:
    Opening Event: T-shirt printing workshop with visiting Taring Padi member Sudandyo Aprilianto. Space limited- RSVP at Refreshments will be served.

  • Monday, February 25, 7-9pm:
    Screening: In the Eye of the Day by Leonard Retel Helmrich (Trilogy #1)
  • Thursday, February 28, 7-9pm:
    Screening: Shape of the Moon by Leonard Retel Helmrich (Trilogy #2)
  • Friday, March 1, 3:30-5pm:
    Gamelan music demonstration by Anon Suneka.
  • Saturday, March 16, 2-6pm:
    Closing Event: Indonesian Dance Workshop & Performance with Sanggar Bhineka Tunggal Ika. Refreshments will be served.

    For more information about Taring Padi, visit:
    For more information about the exhibition and events, Contact North Quad Programming

  • Reword Exhibition in Space 2435

    By | event, exhibition, international experience, language, north quad, parisa ghaderi, reed esslinger, space 2435, university of michigan | No Comments

    North Quad Programming is very excited to present the next exhibition in Space 2435, Reword, which will be up from Monday, January 7 – Friday, January 18, 2013. The exhibition is a collaboration between artists Parisa Ghaderi (b. Tehran, Iran) and Reed Esslinger (b. St. Paul, MN, USA). Parisa is a current graduate student at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design, while Reed graduated from the same program in May 2012. An exhibition reception will take place on Friday, January 11 from 7-9pm. All are welcome to attend.


    Description: Working in collaboration, artists Parisa Ghaderi and Reed Esslinger have created moments of pause along the journey of immigration. They are interested in what happens to language itself when encountering a foreign culture; however banal or basic the language used may be, the margin for misinterpretation or exaggeration can be wide. Each reflecting on her personal experiences of decoding gibberish, navigating social circumstances, and coming to terms with the internal transformation of living an extended period of time abroad, Ghaderi and Esslinger’s work emerges at the intersections of their respective experiences of being alien.

    About the Artists:
    Parisa Ghaderi’s work ranges from graphic design and photography to installation and metal work. As an Iranian woman living in the US, she reflects her experience through her creative practice, and provokes serious questions around identity and women’s issues.

    Reed Esslinger’s work takes many forms, (sculpture, installation, video, writing, etc.) but almost always involves fibers and theatre. Having spent 3 years living on Réunion Island, an Outer Seas Department of France in the Indian Ocean, Reed’s interest in the island’s linguistic and cultural creolization have led to visual metaphors for the elusive process of relinquishing, adding, and transforming parts of one’s identity. She ultimately loves stories- whether absorbing, recording, or recounting them, and sees teaching as a natural occasion for mutual authorship and exploration.

    For more information contact:
    RSVP for the event on Facebook: REWORD

    Reflection in the Mud: a lunch-time presentation

    By | event, indonesia, lapindo mud disaster, north quad, space 2435, taring padi | No Comments

    From 2005-2009, I resided in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. I first went on a scholarship provided by the Indonesian government called the Darmasiswa Scholarship, to study traditional dance and music at the Yogyakarta Institute of Arts for one year. I was so fascinated by Indonesia that I stayed for three more years.

    During the majority of my time in Yogyakarta, I worked closely with the political arts collective Taring Padi. Translated to mean the “fang of the rice plant”, Taring Padi was started by a group of young artists in 1998 during the upheaval following the fall of former president Suharto. Best known for the amazing woodblock prints they create to address issues surrounding human rights, the environment, women & children, political corruption and other relevant topics, Taring Padi is recognized internationally for their continued commitment to bringing “art to the people”.

    We are very excited to announce that one of the Taring Padi members, Sergina, will be visiting North Quad during the week of October 15. Her visit is short, as she will be traveling from the Creative Time Summit in New York, to Ohio University in Athens. During her short stay in Ann Arbor, Sergina will give a talk in Space 2435 at North Quad on:

    Tuesday, October 16 from 12-1:30pm

    View calendar

    Don’t miss this great opportunity to hear first-hand about Taring Padi’s recent project with the victims of the Lapindo mudflow disaster in Porong, Sidoarjo in East Java, Indonesia:

    Commemoration of the Lapindo Mudflow Disaster

    A Project with the Community of Mudflow Victims in Porong, Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia

    The Lapindo mudflow disaster started on May 29, 2006 and since then has issued approximately 100,000 cubic meters of sludge material from the earth every day. This event became a tragedy when the hot mud flooded the rice fields, residential, and industrial areas. Thousands of houses were damaged, tens of thousands of villagers were displaced, and agricultural areas, plantations and over 20 factories were destroyed, leaving devastating environmental consequences. Thousands of people lost their jobs, leaving educational facilities not functioning. People left their houses, lands, villages, and stories behind.

    Forced displacement (forced migration) is an extraordinary cultural disaster; people leave their history and the ways they live and interact with each other behind. Because there is no longer a social or cultural common ground that unites them, the people affected by the mud lose cohesion. The loss of history, life capital and social interactions become a catalyst for social fragmentation.

    In the face of the Lapindo mudflow disaster, the political arts collective Taring Padi facilitated cultural activities focused on reviving the collective memory of the victims; addressing the events of culture, relationships, and social interaction that were left under the mud. “Reflection in the Mud” invited the entire Porong community to communicate their feelings about the loss and sorrow caused by the mud of Lapindo, encouraging them not to constantly be in pain, but to continue to fight for their rights. Taring Padi hoped that the rise of collective memory would reinforce the cultural ties; breaking the tension that had been prominent among the victims. The emergence of collective memory was expected not only as a reinforcement of public solidarity to the victims of the mud (which was beginning to be lost in the hustle and bustle of newly rising issues), but also as a marker to the public that similar incidents will not happen again in the future.

    About Sergina:

    My full name is Sergina. I was born 29 years ago in Makassar, South Sulawesi. I spent more less 21 years of my life there and 3 years in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, before I moved to Yogyakarta 5 years ago to take my master program. During my thesis writing process in 2009, I met a friend who introduced me to Taring Padi. And since that time, I have been involved with Taring Padi Collective. My study background is not art, but I do really love the art. And I love the way that Taring Padi integrates “social realities” into their artwork. I have learned how to make art in Taring Padi, such as woodcut prints and drawing.

    I have been involved in some projects with friends in Taring Padi. I was the project secretary for the Commemoration of four-years of the Lapindo Mudflow Disaster Project in 2010; the project coordinator of “Taring Padi: Art Smashing the Tyranny” Book Launch Project in 2011; the project manager for Under, After, and In-Between II Project in September 2012, a collaborative project involving Indonesian, Thai, and Burmese artists. Within Taring Padi’s structure, I was elected as a secretary of our organization for July 2012 – July 2013 period.

    Currently I am working in Handicap International, an INGO who concerns to disabilities issues, based in Yogyakarta.

    We hope to see you there!!!!!!!!