For First-Year Students


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 artmaking. 

What's that mean for you? Taking classes in danceceramics 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.

Check out the OFA Brochure with all the info and contacts you need. 

Harvard's artistic community is strikingly diverse and passionate -- whether folks plan to go on to a career in the arts or not. For instance: 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

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

2019 Auditions for Music Ensembles
Employment Opportunities at the OFA
Student-Led Groups

Useful links

Ceramics courses | Credit courses in dance | Non-credit dance classes | Figure drawing course | Skills for Singing

Dean of Students Office | First-Year Arts Program | Office of Career Services | Student Employment Office