The university held its annual Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts over the week of April 21 to April 30. The theme of this year’s festival was “Make Art to Make Change” featuring events that celebrate the creativity of the Brandeis community along with special guest artists.
“The Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts welcomes and encourages the participation of people of all communities, generations and life experiences. We value a diversity of lived experiences and perspectives and recognize that our experiences and perspectives are shaped by multiple and intersecting social identities,” reads the university’s page for the festival.
On Super Sunday, there was the zany comedic creatures of BIG NAZO, The Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band, Space for Change: Immersive play/theater with Little Uprisings and The Gottabees, Name that Tune with Tanner Eustace ’24, Gann Academy Jazz Ensemble, Music by Simon Fidlin ’25, Rather Be Giraffes A Cappella, Up the Octave A Cappella, Manginah A Cappella, Art activities with LoveLab Studio, Africano Waltham and Brandeis MakerLab, Street dance with The Flavor Continues, Create@Brandeis Craft Market, Radium Girls, Brandeis Early Music Ensemble, Adagio Spring Showcase, Hamlet, Brandeis Wind Ensemble, Gili Yalo in Concert and Lungs.
The events also included art exhibits at the Rose Art Museum. The public could view pieces as part of Lyle Ashton Harris: Our First and Last Love, re:collections, Six Decades at the Rose Art Museum and Frida Kahlo at the Rose Art Museum, according to the events page.
The art featured in the festival was intended to celebrate Art in The Year of Climate Action. The Year of Climate Action is “devoted to deepening our understanding of climate change as a social justice issue through our incredible lineup of curricular and co-curricular programming throughout the year.” This year-long event includes initiatives like energy efficiency, climate resources for faculty, streamlined applications for funding for climate action projects, organic land management practices and decarbonization action plans.
Exhibitions related to The Year of Climate Action included Voices of a Resilient River, a collaboration between Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST) program and the Charles River Watershed Association. The exhibition included words, images, light and sound aspects to reflect the “complexities and nuances” of the Charles River and the hopes for future, according to the exhibition page. The showing included lanterns made by Emmanuel Hernandez ’24, Meggee Joseph ’23, Jacob Krah ’23, Allissa Masse ’23, Nicholas Ong ’23, Fiona Ripp ’25, Liz Sandoval ’25 and Madison Sirois ’25, under the guidance of artist Andy Li. The project was funded through Arts Engagement and the Brandeis Sustainability Fund.
Another exhibition related to The Year of Climate Action included Climate Culture: The actions that matter most to fight climate change. This exhibition included interactive booths throughout the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC) that displays the “most important and impactful climate-positive actions Americans can adopt individually.” The piece was put together by current students and alumni and sponsored by the Office of Sustainability.