Oral History Masters of Arts Program, Columbia University
Nicki Pombier Berger is an oral historian, educator, and interdisciplinary artist.
Nicki is on the faculty at The New School College of Performing Arts, where she teaches in the Drama BFA program. In collaboration with playwright Suli Holum, she is currently working as dramaturg on THE BAKKEN, an investigation of the Bakken shale, a rock formation roughly 350 million years old sitting deep below the surface of North Dakota.
She is the Founding Editor of Underwater New York, an arts project of work inspired by the waterways of New York City. As an oral historian, Nicki has created and curated multimedia exhibits online and in public spaces, and designed and produced educational and experimental films. Presently, she is an Artist Resident for DISCOVERING SELINSGROVE, a public history pilot, using an arts- and oral history-based approach to document first-person experiences of institutionalization, run by The Institute on Disabilities at Temple University and funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage. From 2014-2015, she worked on A Fierce Kind of Love, The Institute on Disabilities at Temple’s multifaceted arts-based project on the intellectual disability rights movement in Pennsylvania, for which Nicki co-curated content for a multimedia exhibit online and in the rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol and Philadelphia’s City Hall (Here. Stories from Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services).
In 2015, she produced An Accidental Documentary, an experimental film drawing on personal and archival oral histories to teach a history of intellectual disability. From 2013-2104, she designed and produced the TILL Living Legacy Project, an educational film designed to engage human services staff in rethinking the complexity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities, which won the 2015 Innovation Award from the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers. In 2013, she produced an online multimedia collection of stories from self-advocates with Down syndrome, “Nothing About Us Without Us.” From 2010-2013, she led several community engagement efforts at the national nonprofit organization, StoryCorps. From 2015-2017, she was a Research Fellow on the Robert Rauschenberg Oral History Project.
Nicki has a Master of Arts in Oral History from Columbia University (2013), a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College (2009), and a Bachelor of Science in the Foreign Service from Georgetown University (2001).