The annual Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts is back in session. Between April 26 and May 4, Brandeis is hosting many events celebrating the arts community. Some activities include student theater, art installations around campus, talks from artists and a craft market.
“Buoyancy” is the theme of this year’s festival. “Our advisory committee came up with the theme of buoyancy back in October,” wrote Ingrid Schorr, the Director of Arts Engagement at Brandeis, in an email to The Brandeis Hoot. “We wanted to acknowledge the ability of the arts to frame powerful ideas and to mark important times in history, and we wanted to honor our community’s resilience as well as the signs of growth and hope that accompany springtime.”
Schorr explained that events and art installations around campus try to embody that spirit of rebirth. Students focused on that theme when creating their art. Anya Shire-Plumb ’22 painted colorful circles on sidewalks around campus, emulating the concept of joy. She wrote in an Instagram post, “Using tempera paint and months of preparation, my concept is to mimic the way we experience the feeling of happiness. Joy comes to us suddenly and lifts us up.”
Other events include the Community Talk and Art Build for Indigenous Futures, a three part event which will take place on Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.. “This event aims to uplift Indigenous struggle through community learning and contextualization within the space of the Brandeis community,” reads the event description. The event will begin with a panel of Indigenous speakers, followed by a sewing circle and end with a protest and banner drop.
Featured artist Tory Fair, an associate professor of sculpture at Brandeis, has “Portable Window” displays around campus that she encourages community members to engage with. “While our digital culture has made it incredibly easy to frame and take pictures without restraint,” said Fair in a Brandeis interview. “Portable Window slows down and makes framing our surroundings a more physical act in sync with our bodies.” Those who see her sculpture, which looks like a wheel with a gap in the middle, are encouraged to look through the gap to “see what the wheel sees.”
This is the 70th Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts. According to the Festival History page, “The Festival of the Creative Arts at Brandeis was founded in 1952 by the legendary American composer and Brandeis faculty member Leonard Bernstein. It was dedicated to the belief that ‘the art of an era is a reflection of the society in which it is produced, and through creative endeavors the thoughts and expression which characterize each generation are revealed and transformed.’”
Almost all events are free and open to the public. The schedule and details for the weeklong celebration can be found online.