Harvard Arts First Festival - 25 Years

Save the dates!
ARTS FIRST April 27-30
Harvard’s annual four-day arts showcase of student and faculty creativity celebrates its 25th anniversary at various University venues including the open-air tent on the Plaza, Sanders Theatre, Paine Hall, Harvard Art Museums and historic buildings throughout the Yard. Produced by the Office for the Arts, the festival is a public event with many free performances and art-making activities for Harvard and Greater Boston-Cambridge community members of all ages.

2017 ARTS FIRST Festival Highlights

4.27: Harvard Arts Medal Ceremony at Loeb Drama Center, 4 PM
• Honoring actor John Lithgow ’67 ArD ‘05, Master of the Arts at Harvard
• Conversation with Mr. Lithgow moderated by President Drew Gilpin Faust, who will also present the Arts Medal.
• Free tickets (2 per person) available 4.18 with Harvard ID; 4.20 for the public, Harvard Box Office.

4.28: Celebration of Harvard Artists Marking the 25th Anniversary of ARTS FIRST, Sanders Theatre, 8:30 PM
• Dance, music, spoken word and dramatic performances featuring an ensemble of accomplished Harvard alumni/ae, faculty and student artists under the direction of Tony Award-winning director Diane Paulus ’88, Artistic Director of the American Repertory Theater.
• Confirmed participants include Emmy Award-winning actor Courtney Vance ‘82; former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Damian Woetzel MPA ’07; Academy Award-nominated composer of Moonlight, Nicholas Britell ‘04; actor/vocalist Elizabeth Leimkuhler ’15; and more to be announced.
• Free tickets (2 per person) available beginning at noon on Wednesday, 4.12 with Harvard ID; 4.21 for the public, Harvard Box Office.

4.29: Performance Fair Opening Events, under the Plaza Tent
• Performing Musical Difference: Rhythms of Unity, body percussion and music of the Silk Road Ensemble performed by students in Music 194, 11 AM
• In the Beginning... the ARTS FIRST Creation Story (sort of)—the origin story you never knew you wanted to know!—starring Dean of the College Rakesh Khurana, Dean of Freshmen Thomas Dingman, Prof. of Economics Gregory Mankiw, Rev. Jonathan Walton of The Memorial Church and Prof. of Biology Pardis Sabeti, with River Charles Ensemble, Hasty Pudding Theatricals, Harvard Ballet Company, Expressions Dance Company and Harvard-Radcliffe Veritones, 11:30 AM
• Welcome from John Lithgow ’67, ArD ’05, with the Harvard University Band, 12:30 PM

4.29: Performance Fair, 1-5 PM
• Jammin’ A Cappella with the Callbacks, Din & Tonics, LowKeys and Radcliffe Pitches, 1-3 pm; and DanceFest—breakdancing to bhangra, capoeira to contemporary, Korean hip hop to tap, Bollywood and beyond—3-5 PM; under the Plaza Tent.
• Plus 70 additional performances in 10 other locations: opera, musical theater, contemporary and classical, pop and folk, rap and alternative rock, plus stand-up and improv comedy.

4.30: Jazz on the Plaza 2-4 PM
• Harvard Monday Jazz Band; Yosvany Terry, conductor
• Special guests, Grammy Award-nominated Yosvany Terry Quintet
Also: Six Make Art stations—ceramics, acting Shakespeare, origami, T-shirt re-fashion, build a bug, and clay press molding—plus figure drawing and ACT ONE accessible workshops, 4.29…public art installations, visual arts in the houses and eight theater productions (click on Theater tab) throughout the weekend…concerts (click on Music tab) with Harvard University Choir, Grand Harmonie and Harvard alumni/ae soloists (Haydn’s The Creation) and the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College, 4.29…the Harvard College Film Festival (click on Film tab), 4.28-30…admission free to the Harvard Art Museums on Saturday, 4.29, and to the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture on Sunday, 4.30…Lowell House’s 1812 Overture (click on Sunday tab) by Tchaikovsky played on kazoos, 4.30…and much more!