Community Engagement

The Forum is proud to serve as a unique gathering space open to the entire University as well as the wider New York City community. 

The Forum’s ground floor Atrium is a communal space open to the public seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (except University holidays). With ample seating, tech tables for charging devices, and free WiFi, the Atrium is ideal for those needing a quiet place to work, study, or meet a friend over a cup of coffee.

Throughout the year, The Forum joins with other Manhattanville-based Columbia departments to host Community Days, which fill the campus and The Forum with a diverse selection of family-oriented programs for Columbia neighbors to enjoy. In addition to these Community Days, many of the events hosted at The Forum are free and open to the public.

Community Programs

Jazz quintet performs in Atrium to an audience
Music Monday

Music Monday is a free and open-to-the public monthly concert series hosted by The Forum. Performances, which feature local artists and musicians, take place in The Forum's ground-floor Atrium on Monday evenings, once a month.

Culture on the Corner flyer depicting The Forum building and 125th Street sign
Culture on the Corner

This initiative aims to celebrate and explore the vibrant tapestry of our neighborhood culture in creative ways. We hope to offer a nook where people can forge new connections, foster deeper understandings, and discover the diverse heritage that makes Manhattanville unique. 

The Forum atrium on Community Day with vendors set up
Manhattanville Community Day

Twice a year, The Forum joins our Manhattanville neighbors in hosting a free, fun-filled celebration of community! Activities include film screenings and sketch sessions, food samples galore, live music, interactive STEM projects led by Saturday Science - and much more.

Flyer advertising the Wellness Circle program
The Wellness Circle

The Wellness Circle is a weekly half-hour chair stretching and guided meditation session hosted by The Forum in partnership with the Harlem Wellness Center. Sessions are held Wednesdays at 12pm in the Atrium and are free and open to all. The program is currently on hiatus.

Community Partnerships

Two artists pose by paintings
Harlem Public Art Project

The Forum is proud to have partnered with the Harlem Public Art Project to present "Icons of Activism," a summer 2023 exhibit featuring portraits of civil rights activists Rosa Parks and Angela Davis. The paintings, on display in The Forum's Atrium, were painted by artists Gina Samson and Taylor Capers-Armstead, pictured here.

Group of students in conversation in front of the photo exhibit they helped create. Photo boards are hung in the building's windows as visitors look on.
My Streetscape Photovoice Exhibit

Organized by The Trust Collaboratory at Columbia University in collaboration with the Center for Smart Streetscapes (CS3), the My Streetscape Photovoice Exhibit focused on the intersection of urban technology and trust. The exhibit featured work from local high school students enrolled in the My Streetscape Summer School, a six-week-long program fostering dialogue on how urban technology can be implemented in ways that elicit trust, safeguard privacy, and serve the needs of the local community.

Visitors study a poster hanging in The Forum's atrium window as part of the PhotoVoice exhibit
#TrustWorkers A PhotoVoice Exhibit

The Forum is pleased to have partnered with the Trust Project at INCITE to present their photovoice exhibition, “#TrustWorkers: (Re)Building Relationships between New Yorkers and the Medical System.” The exhibit, installed in The Forum's ground-floor Atrium, featured intimate photographic narratives of Community Health Workers (CHWs) who work at the frontlines of building trust and providing medical care to New Yorkers.

A man wearing a face mask stands in front of The Forum building holding a blue and white sign that says "Vote Here, Vote Aqui"
NYC Early Voting Poll Site

The Forum is proud to serve as an early voting poll site for our Manhattanville neighbors, during both the Primary and General Election periods each year. 

Large black foam-core boards displayed in The Forum's windowed Atrium as part of the Aqui y Alla exhibit. The boards feature photos and text.
Aquí y Allá

The Forum partnered with Colección INICIA to present Aquí y Allá, a photo exhibit featuring the work of renowned Dominican-American photographer Winston Vargas who documented life the Washington Heights neighborhood in the 1960s and '70s.

Group poses inside Forum Atrium on steps
Columbia Community Service

The Forum once again hosted Columbia Community Service's annual grantee reception celebrating the 55 nonprofit organizations in Harlem and Morningside Heights that were awarded grants as part of this year's fundraising efforts. 

Group of volunteers poses together inside on the stairs of The Forum's Atrium
Community Vaccination Site

The Forum was proud to collaborate with Columbia University’s Wellness Center and Columbia Doctors to host an open-to-the-community pop-up vaccination site at The Forum. The pop-up was held over four different weekends in April and May, providing relief for some of New York’s most underserved populations.

Council Member Shaun Abreu with constituents at The Forum
District 7 Mother's Day Celebration

The Forum welcomed Council Member Shaun Abreu (CC'14) and Congressman Adriano Espaillat who hosted a Mother's Day celebration honoring District 7 moms. 

Close up of young woman with glasses looking at camera with playground in background
Reflections on Water | Photo by Jahmier
Reflections on Water

To celebrate the creative work of students in the YWCA afterschool photography program at New Design Middle School, sponsored by The Josephine Herrick Project, The Forum, as part of its collaborative programming with community organizations, invited the students to exhibit their photos at The Forum. Click through to view their photographs. 

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer with 3 Little League players
UICL Toy Giveaway | December 2019 | Photo by Pat Lilly
UICL Toy Giveaway

The Uptown Inner City League's holiday toy giveaway event with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer