CAMBRIDGE, MA–The staff members’ bright purple shirts read simply: “MAKE ART.” For the four days of Harvard’s annual Arts First festival, students, faculty, and others did just that.
Arts First, which ran from April 28 to May 1, featured visual exhibits and installations, theatrical and musical performances, dance, and other forms of creative expression. The festival, now in its 24th year, was begun by actor John Lithgow ’67 and Myra Mayman, founding director of Harvard’s Office for the Arts.
“John and Myra both felt that this should be an event every year which celebrates the vitality of art-making,” said Jack Megan, director of the Office for the Arts, which produces the festival.
Arts First has grown in size and scope over the years. It has expanded to four days, and last year saw an attendance of nearly 7,000.
“This year, we had to add performance slots to the Saturday afternoon Performance Fair, because there were more interested performers than performance spaces,” said Marin Orlosky Randow, Arts First coordinator, citing increased participation from graduate students and first-year undergraduates.
Art of the moment
Harvard seniors Alistair Debling (from left), Renee Zhan, Lydia Burns, Harry Choi, and Daniel Citron viewed Zhan’s “Hold Me (Ca Caw Ca Caw),” an animated film in watercolor and digital medium. The VES Thesis Exhibition was featured in the Carpenter Center’s Sert Gallery. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer
Arts First’s DanceFest touted 20 different forms of dance. The Crimson Dance Team performed under the tent in the Science Center Plaza. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer
The Science Center Plaza’s tent hosted musical and dance performances throughout the weekend — a weekend of sunshine and showers. Photo by Erin Tucker
The Harvard University Band was part of the welcoming ceremony kicking off Arts First’s Saturday events, which continued well into Sunday. Photo by Erin Tucker
An artist teaches a young girl how to use a potter’s wheel as part of the hands-on segments of the festival. Photo by Erin Tucker