According to Shakespeare, “April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.” That spirit embodies the urge to try the new, to celebrate the creative energy in all of us. In short, it’s ARTS FIRST, Harvard’s annual festival featuring over 200 film, dance, theater, music, visual art, literary and multimedia presentations in various venues across campus. And this year, the festival will inaugurate Harvard’s newest public space, the renovated Science Center Plaza, a project of the University’s Common Spaces initiative.
Running Thursday, April 25 through Sunday, April 28, ARTS FIRST kicks off with a ceremony honoring actor, screenwriter and producer Matt Damon ’92 as recipient of this year’s Harvard Arts Medal (see cover story). One or more of Damon’s films will be screened during the festival, and other highlights include a cookout on the Science Center Plaza with performances by Harvard’s best bands on Friday; the signature Performance Fair, on the plaza and around Harvard Yard, on Saturday; the Dance Festival, performed this year on the plaza, also on Saturday; and throughout the weekend, events and exhibitions presented by Harvard’s student arts organizations, arts institutions and residential houses.
ARTS FIRST encourages students and community members to join the team as volunteer producers, stage managers, production assistants, greeters, and other helpers. For information about volunteer opportunities, contact Associate Project Manager Moira Pirsch, firstname.lastname@example.org, 617.495.8699. For general information about festival programming, see the ARTS FIRST guide and online listings for event schedules at www.ofa.fas.harvard.edu/arts.