Sarah Lewis -- Author, Cultural Critic, Media Sensation -- to Speak at The College of New Rochelle


New Rochelle, NY, March 19, 2014 -- Arts-and-culture maven and recent media sensation Sarah Lewis will speak at The College of New Rochelle on April 3 about her new book, "The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery." The presentation will take place in Romita Auditorium on the Main Campus at 29 Castle Place, New Rochelle, NY, at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. 

This talk by the author of The Rise will look at how the most iconic, creative endeavors — from Nobel Prize-winning discoveries to entrepreneurial inventions and works in the arts — are not simply achievements but corrections after failed attempts. In exploring failure as a driver of creativity in the lives of such notable figures as Frederick Douglass, J.K. Rowling, Maya Lin, and the Arctic explorer Ben Saunders, The Rise explores the different facets of creative human endeavors.  Lewis will discuss how innovation, success, and new concepts are found in the most unlikely of places.

"The Rise blends gripping narratives with counterintuitive insights into the role of creativity, failure, uncertainty, success, and innovation. The result is a fabulous book, and one that’s relevant to just about anyone who’s ever strived to achieve a difficult goal,” commented Daniel Smith, author of Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety and Critchlow Endowed Chair in English at The College of New Rochelle.

Lewis’s investigations of the inner workings of creativity have garnered remarkable public attention. In January, Lewis led a Sundance Film Festival Panel including Robert Redford and festival honorees to consider how they find the resilience to grow in the face of personal disappointments. Already in March Lewis has appeared on MSNBC’s The Cycle, NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, PBS’s Tavis Smiley, as well as at the South by Southwest Festival.  Her upcoming appearances include a talk at the TED 2014 annual conference, the Spelman Museum of Fine Art, and on a panel at The Public Theater in New York City. 

Sarah Lewis has served on President Barack Obama’s Arts Policy committee, been selected for Oprah’s “Power List,” and is a faculty member at Yale University, School of Art in the MFA program.  Her essays on contemporary art have been published widely in journals ranging from Callaloo, the premier journal of arts, letters, and cultures of the African Diaspora, to Art in America, and in publications from institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian and Rizzoli. She has held positions at both the Tate Modern and the Studio Museum in Harlem. A Harvard educated New York native with a Master’s in Philosophy degree from Oxford, Lewis will receive her Ph.D. from Yale this year. 

For further information about the event and to RSVP, please contact Daniel Smith at

Contact: Elizabeth Weisman