The Creative Life

The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany

The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the University Art Museum, New York State Writers Institute and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in conjunction with WAMC Public Radio. Sponsored by The University at Albany Foundation, the series features live onstage interviews conducted by WAMC’s "Roundtable" host Joe Donahue with artists of national and international prominence in conversation about their creative inspiration, their craft, their careers and the demands of sustaining an artistic practice over time. A question and answer period closes each program.  All Creative Life events are free and open to the public. 

Creative Life guests span the creative disciplines including writing, music, dance, choreography, visual arts, architecture, theatre, filmmaking and more.  The series celebrates the depth and range of artistic practices, helps to demystify the creative process for the audience and explores what it means to dedicate one’s life to a creative pursuit.  It is also intended to bring attention to the vibrant arts community on the University at Albany campus. 

Major support for The Creative Life is provided by The University at Albany Foundation with additional support from University Auxiliary Services.  

Actor/comedian Jane Curtin
Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 4pm

Actress Jane Curtin smiling in front of a blue background

Starting in its first season in 1975, Jane Curtin was one of the original “Not Ready for Prime Time Players” on “Saturday Night Live” and stayed with the show through the 1979-80 season. She later starred in two long-running television sitcoms, “Kate & Allie” from 1984 through 1989, during which she won back-to-back Emmy Awards in 1984 and 1985, and “3rd Rock from the Sun” from 1996 through 2001. Curtin also starred in all four seasons of “Unforgettable” as well as the television movie series “The Librarian” and its spin-off television show, “The Librarians.” Guest appearances have included “The Good Wife,” “48 Hours ’til Monday,” “The Good Fight,” “Broad City,” “United We Fall” and, most recently, “The Conners.”

Curtin has appeared on Broadway in “Noises Off,” “Candida,” and “Our Town.” Her film credits include “Coneheads,” “Antz,”” I Love You, Man,” “I Don’t Know How She Does It,” “The Heat,” “The Spy Who Dumped Me,” “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,”  “Ode to Joy,” “Godmothered,” and “Queen Bees.” Upcoming projects include the film “Jules,” opposite Sir Ben Kingsley.


Past Guests and Archived Conversations:


Lucy Sante - October 18, 2022
Art critc
Cultural commentator


Ruth Reichl - October 5, 2021
Food writer
Culinary editor

Debbie Millman - November 2, 2021
Podcast host
UAlbany alum

Roxane Gay - November 2, 2021
Social activist


Jhumpa Lahiri - January 30, 2020
Acclaimed author
Pulitzer Prize winner
Novelist and short-story writer 


Philippe Petit - October 3, 2019
High wire artist
Star of Man on Wire

Rakim - October 28, 2019
Rapper and MC
Part of the rap duo Eric B. & Rakim

Susan Orlean - March 1, 2019
Author of The Orchid Thief

Paul Reiser - April 4, 2019 
Actor & author
Star of Mad About You






Bibbe Hansen - September 5, 2018
Performance artist
Star of Andy Warhol films

Jean Shin - November 1, 2018
Noted sculptor
Art curator
Public installation artist

Esmeralda Santiago - November 8, 2018
Author & essayist
Social activist
Documentary film writer

Garth Fagan - March 28, 2018
Lion King Choreographer
Tony Award winner
Dance company founder

Patti LuPone - April 26, 2018
Actress, singer, Broadway star
Grammy & Tony Award winner
New York Times best-selling author


Lois Lowry - November 10, 2017
Author of The Giver & Number the Stars
Newbery Medal winner
Leading voice of children's literature

Regina Carter - February 11, 2017
Violin virtuoso
Jazz artist and improviser
MacArthur Fellow

David Salle - March 23, 2017
Renowned painter
Film and stage designer
Author on fine art


Joyce Carol Oates - September 15, 2016
Novelist, poet and essayist
Pulitzer Prize finalist
New York Times best-selling author

Savion Glover - October 15, 2016
Dancer, choreographer and hoofer
Tony Award nominee and winner
Broadway, television and film star