Arts & Culture

From breaking to Brahms: Everything under the sun to shine at Arts First

2 min read

For the 16th year in a row, Arts First will color the Harvard campus next weekend (May 1-4) with more than 200 music, theater, dance, film, and visual arts events and performances. One of the nation’s largest university festivals for the creative arts, Arts First will feature approximately 3,000 Harvard College students in a range of pursuits — from ballet to break dancing, comedy to existential drama.

“If you can imagine and create it, it’s here,” notes Jack Megan, director of the Office for the Arts (OfA) at Harvard.

Among this year’s happenings are an art walk highlighting the exhibitions; a barbecue picnic with music by the Harvard Sunday Jazz Ensemble; a performance of Brahms’ “Requiem” by the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and Harvard-Radcliffe Chorus; productions of “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (at Loeb Drama Center main stage), “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (at Cabot House Junior Common Room), and “Twelfth Night” (at the New College Theatre); the Harvard University Powwow, a celebration of Native American song and dance; and an outdoor ceramics wheel demonstration. Additionally, this year Arts First will include the Performance Fair/Dance Festival — a free, four-hour blitz of more than 100 events at a dozen different sites.

The festival is sponsored by Harvard University’s Board of Overseers and produced with guidance by the OfA. Many of the events are free of charge.

For a full listing of Arts First events, including times and admission information, visit