Finding—and supporting—the artist in you
Greetings, First-Year Students!
Welcome to Harvard and to the Office for the Arts at Harvard, where our business is supporting you and the entire Harvard community in the practice and discovery of arts making.
What's that mean for you? Taking classes in dance, ceramics and figure drawing! Creating theater, working with professional artists from a range of disciplines! Playing in an orchestra! Singing in a choir! Obtaining funding for arts projects and subsidies for music lessons! All of us at the OFA are here to help you explore whatever art you do or whatever art you want to try. Come try it with us! All are welcome at the OFA.
Harvard's artistic community is strikingly diverse and passionate -- whether its members plan to go on to a career in the arts or not. That saxophonist in the jazz band who takes on a solo in a Duke Ellington composition? She’s pre-med. The actor tackling Gertrude in Hamlet? They've got their sights set on law school. And that guy working with the master artist in the OFA ceramics studio might end up running a major corporation some day. What about you? Where can the arts fit into your Harvard experience?
Of course, Harvard has educated countless accomplished artists and arts leaders over the years. When Tommy Lee Jones ’69 (you know him from Men in Black) received the Harvard Arts Medal in 2012 in recognition of his acting and directing career, he said, “My experience here [as a Harvard student] is the best thing that’s happened in my creative life, and the reason for that is not simply what I learned, but that I learned how to learn, and I will be grateful for that as long as I live.”
(And don’t just take Jones’ word for it. Learn more about the importance of the arts and creativity in the lives of Harvard students on the OFA Harvard Arts Blog)
Whatever your creative journey, we’re here to help you find your way.
Alicia Anstead '08 NF is associate director of the OFA visiting artist program Learning from Performers and OFA communications. She was the 2008 inaugural arts and culture fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard.
Resources for First Year Students
Other Resources at Harvard
For more information on arts opportunities for first-year students, check out the Dean of Students Office.
The First-Year Arts Program creates a non-competitive environment that encourages exploration in all forms of art, orients artists to the academic and extracurricular arts opportunities at Harvard and eases the transition into Harvard life. It is a worthy counterpart to FIP, FOP, FUP, and Dorm Crew, and provides a graceful entry into the arts community for a group of first-year students putting a focus on the arts right at the beginning of a college career. Applications accepted early April through the first Monday in May.