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Harvard ARTS FIRST Festival

Please note, this event has expired.

Presented by Office for the Arts at Harvard at Harvard University, Cambridge MA

May 02 - 05
Harvard ARTS FIRST Festival

ARTS FIRST is Harvard’s annual showcase of student and faculty creativity. The festival is a public event with many free performances and activities for the community. All are welcome.

Each ARTS FIRST festival is unique but every year combines the exuberance of Harvard students, faculty and affiliates who are passionate about sharing the many art forms presented in four rousing days of performances, exhibitions and art-making opportunities. See visual art and opera, dance styles from around the world, many music genres, stand-up and improv comedy, theater, public art, poetry, experimental performances and so much more. Kids especially love the Saturday Performance

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Most events at ARTS FIRST are free and open to the public. For events that are ticketed, visit Harvard Box Office at:

Contact: 617.495.8676


    Official Website

Additional time info:

ARTS FIRST is Harvard’s annual celebration of student and faculty creativity with family-friendly free events and artmaking — all open to the public. Highlights include a multi-arts performance fair 1-5 PM Saturday, May 4 (Kids love it!) and other special events including jazz, ceramics, choral music, theater, visual art, poetry and more. Come experience the delight, joy and engagement of the arts while enjoying the historic buildings and open spaces at Harvard. All are welcome. Saturday and Sunday are community- and family-favorite days. Find out more about the day-to-day schedule of events for the four-day festival at: Check out some highlights here:

Thursday, May 2
4-5:30 p.m.
Harvard Arts Medal Ceremony honoring U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith (Class of 1994) in Agassiz Theatre

Friday, May 3
5:30-7 p.m.
Harvard Jazz Bands on the Plaza

Additional concerts and theater events in the evening.

Saturday, May 4
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
A Special Performance Event on the Plaza followed immediately by a welcome from actor John Lithgow (Class of 1967) and the Harvard University Band

1-5 p.m. Make Art stations for the public and the Performance Fair featuring 11 stages and 1,000+ performers

3-5 p.m. DanceFest celebration on the Plaza

Additional concerts and theater events in the evening.

Sunday May 5
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Members of the Silk Road Ensemble, Parker Quartet and Brattle Street Chamber Players of Harvard College, Smith Campus Center

7 p.m.
Indo-Muslim classical and folk singer Ali Sethi (Clas of 2006), Smith Campus Center


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Harvard Yard, Cambridge, MA 02138

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