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ARTS FIRST: The most incredible arts weekend of the year!

Dear Students:

I want to take a moment to call your attention to an extraordinary four-day celebration coming up: the annual ARTS FIRST Festival. Nearly 2,000 students and faculty will be performing in the festival from Thursday to Sunday, April 26-29, and the range of talent and variety of forms is truly astounding. The festival is a great chance to come out and support your friends. 

Among the highlights: 

THURSDAY, 4 PM in Sanders Theatre: President Faust hosts the Harvard Arts Medal Celebration honoring novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Colson Whitehead ‘91. The event will kick off with a special poetry reading by Amanda Gorman ‘20, followed by a conversation between Whitehead and actor John Lithgow ‘67 ArD ‘05 (You may recognize him from his Emmy Award-winning turn as Churchill in The Crown!). President Faust will give the award at the end of the evening. It’s free and open to all students. Tickets are available at the Harvard Box Office; some remaining tickets will also be available at the door.

FRIDAY, 5:30 PM in Sanders Theatre:
The legendary pianist André Watts will join the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, led by Federico Cortese, in a performance of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto. And there’s more on Friday. Read on!

FRIDAY, 7:30 PM on the Plaza:
Jazz on the Plaza features the Harvard Jazz Bands, led by Yosvany Terry with guest guitarist David Gilmore (from Berklee College of Music). 

SATURDAY, 11 AM on the Plaza:
Enjoy a morning concert with Silkroad Ensemble, Parker Quartet and Brattle Street Chamber Players of Harvard College in a magical combination of talent and genres. But that’s just the beginning for Saturday. Read on again!

SATURDAY, 1-5 PM: The annual ARTS FIRST Performance Fair 
11 performance sites. 8 to 12 performance slots at each. You do the math! Come out and see your friends shine.

AND THERE’S STILL MORE! Stop by Make Art Stations on the Plaza and make art with Harvard instructors, professional artists, friends from the museums and more! 

SUNDAY, 11 AM-5 PM: ARTS FIRST moves to Allston for the day with bagels and arts at the Harvard i-lab, a pop-rock-folk concert with an all-student lineup at The Grove, the Harvard Student Art Show, a public arts walk by the Harvard Ed Portal and art making at the OFA Ceramics Program. Take a study break and enjoy the sun (we hope!), sounds and sights of these great events. And yeah, you guessed it: There’s more!

SUNDAY, 6:30-8:30 PM: Antigone at Harvard Stadium
The Harvard Classics Club will present Sophocles’ drama about a woman who disobeyed – an ancient story for our times. And it’s in the Stadium, one of Harvard’s most iconic settings. Score!

It’s a weekend you won’t want to miss, so I hope to see many of you at ARTS FIRST!

Very best,

Rakesh Khurana