OFA Timeline

Timeline of OFA History, 1973-2007

1973

Prof. James S. Ackerman Committee on the arts recommends to Pres. Derek Bok establishing permanent office to coordinate the extracurricular arts at Harvard (June).

Office for the Arts at Harvard and Radcliffe (OFA) established by Radcliffe President Matina Horner and Harvard President Derek Bok (Sept.). Myra Mayman hired as director.

1974

FAS votes to establish a new standing committee, the Council on the Arts (March).

First Practice & Performance guide to Harvard-Radcliffe arts groups published. A four-page publication (now thirty-seven pages) listing curricular and extracurricular courses, programs, and activities (Sept.).

1975

OFA Grants for innovative arts projects initiated: 21 grants awarded to houses, organizations, and individuals (Oct.).

Learning From Performers program inaugurated; jazz pianist Les McCann is first artist-in-residence, at Lowell House (Nov.). Other artists include producer Hal Prince and composer Stephen Sondheim (Nov. 20 and 24, respectively), dancer/choreographer Meredith Monk (Feb. 14, 1976), jazz vocalist Sarah Vaughan (March 1, 1976).

Arts Spectrum inaugurated as bi-weekly publication (April).

1976

Harvard-Radcliffe Dance Company grows out of Radcliffe Dance Program; premiere performance, Agassiz Theatre (May).

1978

OFA produces Who’s That Banging on the Piano?, promotional film on the arts at Harvard and Radcliffe (Nov.).

The Jazz Tradition, a credit course funded by the OFA is initiated, taught by Tom Everett through the African-American Studies and Music Departments.

1980

OFA sponsors jazz artist residency with Harvard Jazz Band featuring pianists John Lewis and Bill Evans; OFA commissions John Lewis to compose "The Gates of Harvard," its first jazz commissioned work. performed at Sanders Theatre and later performed at Montreux Jazz Festival (April).

1981

Aladdin, original production written and directed by Tim Mayer ‘66, music by Peter Ivers ‘68, performed by students and alumni/ae in Agassiz Theatre (March).

OFA-sponsored jazz artist-in-residence Slide Hampton performs with Harvard Jazz Band at Sanders Theatre; cited as one of year's "10 Best" by Boston Globe (April).

Radcliffe's newly renovated Agassiz Theatre benefits from the opening performance of Pirates of Penzance, the twenty-fifth anniversary show of the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan (Dec.).

1982

Radcliffe Dance Program and Learning From Performers present Dance Week: eight alumni/ae, including Rika Burnham ’72 and Erick Hawkins ’32, conduct classes and workshops (April).

Radcliffe Gym renovated, renamed Radcliffe Dance Center (Sept.).

1983

Citystep established by Sabrina Peck ’84 with OFA grant (Oct.).

OFA sponsors Harvard Jazz Band's 10th Annual spring concert, "TrumpEtudes and Band Aids," with Lester Bowie, Jack Sheldon, and Johnny Letman (Apr.).

1984

Peter Sellars ’80 directs Monkey eating peach, rat stealing pumpkin, phoenix among the peonies in the Indoor Athletic Building (now the Malkin Athletic Center) in celebration of OFA’s 10th anniversary (March).

"Salute to Busby Berkeley and Agassiz Theatre," choreographed by Claire Mallardi and performed by Radcliffe Dance Program students at Agassiz Theatre (May).

1985

"Tappin’ at the Agassiz: A Tribute to Leon Collins," performance in Agassiz Theatre featuring several dance artists honors local tap-dance legend (Feb.).

"Severe Clear," collaborative sculptural installation and dance performance by visiting artists Dana Reitz and James Turrell, Radcliffe Dance Center; production honored with Dance Foundation’s "Bessie Award" for outstanding work performed outside of New York City (May).

"Style and Development of Film Narrative," two-week film production workshop taught by Peter Ivers Visiting Artist Tim Hunter ’68 (Nov.).

1986

"Movement for Actors," a credit course taught by Claire Mallardi, initiated (Sept.).

"Structure and Form Through Movement and Music," cross-departmental course taught by Claire Mallardi, Radcliffe Dance Program, and Luise Vosgerchian, Dept. of Music initiated (Sept.).

Harvard 350th anniversary celebration launched with undergraduate concert in Tercentenary Theatre (Oct.).

1987

Total number of student arts groups increases from 115 in 1981-82 to 184 in 1986-87.

"The Jazz Reunion: 15 Years of Jazz" features Harvard Jazz Band with guest artists Lester Bowie, Illinois Jacquet, Don Braden ’85, Paul Brusiloff ’86, Bob Merrill ’81, Steve Sacks ’75, Fred Houn (now Ho) ’79, Sara Lazarus ’84 (April).

Radcliffe Ceramics Program (formerly Pottery Program) moves to new quarters at 219 Western Ave., Allston (April).

1988

OFA initiates temporary projects in public art: "Three Artists Work With the Radcliffe Quad Landscape," site-specific installations created by Michael Van Valkenburgh (Feb.), Ross Miller (April), Martha Schwartz (May).

"A Salute to Benny Carter," tribute to composer and saxophonist Carter includes Sanders Theatre concert with Harvard Jazz Band and professional guests (April).

1989

Radcliffe Filmmakers Reunion: Learning From Performers convenes nine recent graduates to present and discuss their work (Feb.-April).

Public Art Project: Marshall Cogan Visiting Artist Bert Snow creates "Gargoyles," site-specific sculptural installation for Cabot House grand entry (April).

Radcliffe Dance Program Film Series: Early Modern Dance Choreography, Agassiz Theatre (Oct.).

1990

First performance by Choreographers’ Ink, performing arm of Radcliffe Dance Program (April).

Public Art Project: Marty Cain’s "Site Lines" opens at Cabot House and Radcliffe Quadrangle (April).

"A Tribute to Buck Clayton," honoring the legendary trumpeter and composer, includes Sanders Theatre concert with Harvard Jazz Band and guest artist Harry "Sweets" Edison (April).

Technical Theatre workshop initiated by Alan Symonds/Adam Kibbe in Agassiz Theatre (Sept.).

"A Tribute to Mario Bauza," concert co-sponsored by OFA and Inquilinos Boricuas en Accion featuring Afro-Cuban maestro and Harvard Jazz named "One of the Year’s 10 Best in World Music" by Boston Globe critic Fernando Gonzales (Dec.).

1991

OFA sponsors Harvard Jazz Band’s 17th annual spring concert, a celebration of the jazz band's 20th anniversary, with guest artists Jimmy Knepper and Carl Fontana, Sanders Theatre (April).

Radcliffe Ceramics Studio hosts 35 ceramics students, graduate students, and faculty from Ewha University, a women's university in Korea (June).

The Sweating Door Alarm conceived and directed with students by Peter Ivers Visiting Artist Douglas Fitch ’82 in Agassiz Theatre (Oct).

Sanders Theatre presents performance artist Laurie Anderson in concert; she also participates in Learning From Performers discussion with students (Nov.).

1992

"A tribute to Andrew Hill," 18th annual jazz concert featuring composers who inspired and influenced Hill—Duke Ellington, Thelonius Monk, and Charles Mingus. Two works commissioned by the Office for the Arts premiered (April).

Publication: Five Views, One Landscape: Experiments in Public Art at Harvard and Radcliffe (May).

1993

De Ama Battle, Art of Black Dance and Music, joins Radcliffe Dance Program faculty (Sept.).

"Invention/Intervention: Focusing the Arts and Sciences on the Environment," four-part series presented by Learning From Performers, brings artists and scientists together to discuss environmental issues (Oct., also Nov., Feb., and April).

Annual ARTS FIRST festival inaugurated; 1200 students perform, 50 work behind the scenes, 14 ARTS FIRST grants awarded (May).

OFA takes on oversight of development and administration of Memorial Hall/Lowell Hall complex: Sanders Theatre/Lowell Hall, Alumni Hall, and to-be-built Loker Commons (June).

1994

Radcliffe Ceramics Studio marks 25th year with the theme "Celebrating Longevity"; over-65 ceramists Ruth Duckworth and Yasuke Aida present symposia (Oct.).

Radcliffe Dance Program adds class in flamenco taught by Omayra Amaya (Feb.).

OFA sponsors Harvard Jazz Band's 20th annual spring concert, "A Tribute to Steve Lacy," featuring Steve Lacy as well as guest artists Irene Aebi, Don Byron, Roswell Rudd, and Ed Schuller.

Peter Ivers Visiting Artist Sabrina Peck ’84 creates The Garden in Winter, dance/theater performance with students, Agassiz Theatre (March).

OFA launches and oversees six-month residency by British artist David Ward in collaboration with the Carpenter Center, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University Art Museums and the VES Department; "Canopy," Ward's site-specific sound/light installation, opens in Harvard Yard. Project is named "One of the Year’s 10 Best Visual Arts Events" by Christine Temin, Boston Globe. (June).

1995

OFA administrative headquarters move to 74 Mt. Auburn St., shared with Harvard Bands (March).

OFA participates in Cambridge’s Commission on the Arts in the 21st Century (April).

First Harvard Arts Medal awarded to Jack Lemmon ’47 at 3rd annual ARTS FIRST (April).

Freshmen Arts Program inaugurated by Alan Symonds, Agassiz Theatre (Sept.).

Annenberg Hall and Loker Commons open at Memorial Hall (Sept.).

Studio 74, dance rehearsal space at 74 Mt. Auburn St., opens for student use (Oct.)

1996

Pete Seeger ’40 awarded Harvard Arts Medal at 4th annual ARTS FIRST (April).

"The Great Sanders Restoration Recital: Playing for Keeps," all-piano concert featuring alumni, faculty, and student performers inaugurating the newly-restored Sanders Theatre, named one of the year's "10 Best Classical Music Events" by the Boston Phoenix (Sept.).

1997

Choreographer Elizabeth Streb (1997 MacArthur Fellowship winner) participates in week-long "January Intensive"—workshops and lecture—co-sponsored by Radcliffe Dance Program and Learning From Performers (Jan.).

OFA sponsors Harvard Jazz Band 25th anniversary concert in Sanders Theatre, featuring guest artists Illinois Jacquet, Don Braden ’85, Fred Ho ’79 (April).

Harvard Arts Medal awarded to Bonnie Raitt ’72 during 5th annual ARTS FIRST (April).

Kathryn Walker, Artist in Residence at Radcliffe College, directs Euripides’s The Bacchae with student and professional actors in Agassiz Theatre (Oct.).

1998

Radcliffe Dance Center dedicated as the Amelia Tataronis Rieman Center for the Performing Arts (April).

Harvard Arts Medal awarded to John Updike ’54 at 6th annual ARTS FIRST (May).

Peter Ivers Visiting Artist George Whiteside ’86 and collaborating students create Out of the Marzipan, dance performance in Agassiz Theatre (May).

Public Art Project: Marshall S. Cogan Visiting Artist Richard Fleischner creates and installs a site-specific artwork on facade of OFA headquarters at 74 Mt. Auburn St. (May).

OFA celebrates 25th year with alumni/ae artists participating in master classes, workshops, performances with undergraduates.

1999

Harvard Arts Medal awarded to David Hays '52 at 7th annual ARTS FIRST (May).

The Harvard Box Office, a service of the OFA, locates into the former BosTix at Harvard ticket booth in the Holyoke Center Arcade for advance ticket sales (July).

2000

Harvard Arts Medal awarded to John Harbison '60 at 8th annual ARTS FIRST (May).

2001

Harvard Arts Medal awarded to Peter Sellars ’80 at 9th annual ARTS FIRST (May).

Myra Mayman, founding director of the OFA, step downs after 27 years of leadership (June).

Jack Megan, executive director of the Longy School of Music, joins as director of the OFA (July).

Laurie Anderson, avant-garde multimedia performance artist, performs at Sanders Theater four days after September 11th (September).

2002

Learning from Performers welcomes Visiting Artists: actor and vocalist Mandy Patinkin, film director Ed Zwick ‘74, novelist Eileen Myles, vocalist Sara Lazarus, choreographer Rob Ashford, pianist Joanne Brakeen.

Harvard Arts Medal awarded to William Christie '66 at 10th annual ARTS FIRST (May).

2003

OFA sponsors an artist in residency with The Boys Choir of Harlem, the youngest visiting artists ever honored at Harvard (Feb).

Learning from Performers welcomed Visiting Artists: choreographer Mark Morris, musical theater composer Stephen Flaherty and lyricist Lynn Ahrens, visual artist Lee Mingwei, film director Mira Nair in a discussion with John Lithgow, "Bat Boy" composer Larry O'Keefe.

OFA and the Harvard Jazz Band sponsored "Beyond Recall: The Progressive Tradition in Jazz" with trumpeter Dave Douglas, trombonist Roswell Rudd, saxophonist Charlie Kohlhasse, drummer Barry Altschul and bassist Brad Jone (April).

Harvard Arts Medal awarded to Mira Nair ‘79 at 11th annual ARTS FIRST (May).

2004

This year, Learning from Performers welcomed Visiting Artists: music master Quincy Jones, pianist and composer Randy Newman, visual artist Jody Pinto, jazz guitarist Jim Hall, playwright, actor Betty Shamieh.

Harvard Arts Medal awarded to Yo-Yo Ma ‘76 at 12th annual ARTS FIRST (May).

2005

Learning from Performers welcomes Visiting Artists: playwright Tony Kushner, Peter Ivers of the Pig Iron Theatre Company, pianist Hank Jones, playwright and actor Charles Busch, DJ Spooky, actor and vocalist Faith Price, conductor Leonard Slatkin, The Silk Road Ensemble and vocalist Dawn Upshaw.

Historic Hasty Pudding Theatre closes for a two-year renovation into a new undergraduate drama facility (May).

Harvard Arts Medal awarded to Maxine Kumin '4 at 13th annual ARTS FIRST (May).

New Harvard Dance Center at the Radcliffe Quadrangle opens, a state-of-the-art 4100-square-foot studio, replacing the Reiman Center (September).

OFA and Harvard Department of Music inaugurated five-year collaboration with the Silk Road Project, a cultural exchange founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma ’67 (September).

2006

Learning from Performers welcomed Visiting Artists: Cellist Matt Haimovitz ’96, visual artist Brian Knep, vocalist Jon Hendricks, composer Adam Guettel, conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim, performers Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione of The Dresden Dolls.

OFA Jazz Program sponsors In the Spirit of Duke, featuring guest artist Jon Hendricks music from Ellington's Sacred Concert, with the Harvard Jazz Band (April).

Harvard Arts Medal awarded to playwright Christopher Durang ‘71 at 14th annual ARTS FIRST (May).

Alan Symonds ’69-‘76, long-time Technical Director for Harvard College Theatre Programs at the OFA, passes away (June).

Leonard Bernstein: Boston to Broadway, a three-day festival celebrating Leonard Bernstein ’39, organized by the Department of Music and the Office for the Arts at Harvard (Oct).

2007

"Deep Wounds," 2006 public art project by Brian Knep commissioned by OFA Public Art Program, receives award from International Association of Arts Critics/New England (February).

OFA Dance program's "Dancers' Viewpointe VII" concert features premiere by choreographer Scott Rink, plus excerpts from George Balanchine's "Serenade" (February).

Dramatic Arts 27, "Advanced Ballet and Repertory," taught by former New York City Ballet principal Heather Watts (spring term).

Artist Development Fellowships program inaugurated by OFA and Office of Career Services; 12 students awarded fellowships supporting their artistic development (spring term).

OFA Jazz Program and Harvard Jazz Bands present "The Afro-Cuban Connection," a residency honoring nine-time Grammy award winner, pianist Eddie Palmieri, also featuring guest trumpeter Brian Lynch (April).

15th annual Harvard Arts Medal awarded to composer John Adams '69 AM '72 (May).

OFA Ceramics Program Director Nancy Selvage commissioned by Cambridge Arts Council to create "Water Wall," public art project for Trolley Square in North Cambridge (late spring).

Produced by the OFA at Sanders Theatre, "Prelude to an Inauguration" honors newly appointed Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust with performances by banjoist Alison Brown '84 and her band, violinist Stefan Jackiw '07, pianist Robert Levin '68, saxophonist/composer Joshua Redman '91 and actor John Lithgow '67, among others (October).

2008

Veteran musical theater composers Stephen Schwartz and Marvin Hamlisch, and performers Bebe Neuwirth and Donna McKechnie, highlight roster of Learning From Performers visiting artists (spring term).

OFA Dance Program receives "American Masterpieces: Dance" grant from the National Endowment for the Arts' "Dance USA" program to support staging of Paul Taylor's "Aureole" for Dancers' Viewpointe VIII" concert (spring term).

OFA Jazz Program and Harvard Jazz Bands present "Along Came Benny," residency honoring composer/saxophonist Benny Golson, also featuring pianist Mulgrew Miller (April).

16th annual Harvard Arts Medal awarded to saxophonist/composer Joshua Redman '91 (May).

OFA and Music Department announce retirement of Dr. James Yannatos, conductor of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and Senior Lecturer in Music since 1964 (October).

Harvard Arts Task Force report issued by the Office of the President; OFA Director Jack Megan serves on Task Force committee, among other members (December).