Our National Educational Partners

West Side/South Side is conceived and curated by Nolan Williams, Jr. and jointly presented by

West Side/South Side is a photo exhibition that explores the challenges and triumphs of American diversity. Conceived and curated by Nolan Williams, Jr., the core of this exhibition is derived from student photographers from top media university programs in Washington, D.C. (American University, The University of the District of Columbia), Philadelphia, PA (University of the Arts), and Atlanta, GA (Art Institute of Atlanta, Clark Atlanta University), who have tackled this project as a part of their course curriculum throughout the spring 2018 term.

The exhibition title is inspired by American composer Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story. Bernstein's work was inspired by the timeless Shakespearean work, Romeo and Juliet, yet broke new artistic ground with the decision to explore in this musical a rivalry between two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds—one Puerto Rican, the other White. Premiered on Broadway in 1957, Bernstein challenged us to wrestle with issues of community integration. He also shone a spotlight on the social challenges that often distinguish one neighborhood from another.

60 years later, 55 students from our partner schools have produced nearly 300 images that compel us to grapple with these same topics anew. Their works are featured online as a digital exhibition. 33 select works were mounted in gallery spaces in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Philadelphia from May 2 to August 30, 2018. Click here to view the traveling exhibition.

American University

​Iwan Bagus, Professor

​June 9 - 30


Woodruff Arts Center

Beauchamp C. Carr Gallery

University of the District of Columbia

​Iwan Bagus, Professor

Art Institute of Atlanta

E. Taylor Bareford, Professor

Our National Exhibition Hosts

​May 2 - May 28


New York University-D.C. Campus

​Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation Gallery

A National Photo Exhibition Inspired by Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story

West Side/South Side is a component of Brilliantly Bernstein: Beyond the Baton, a six-month festival celebrating the Leonard Bernstein centenary.

Presented by the Mann Center for the Performing Arts through the PNC Arts Alive initiative and curated in partnership with NEWorks Productions. 

In case you missed it, click here to view our touring exhibition.

University of the Arts

Barbara Proud, Professor

Clark-Atlanta University

​Deidra Tyree Smith, Professor

July 11 - August 30


The Free Library of Philadelphia

2nd Floor West Gallery

West Side/South Side Touring Photo Exhibition