Guest Artists Add Spice to Annual Creative Arts Festival

Guy Mendilow
Lisa Schaffer
Guy Mendilow
The sounds of the world-famous Guy Mendilow Band, described by the Chicago Tribune as “buoyant, life-affirming, sweetly acoustic music … sophisticated in its delivery but easily accessible to listeners anywhere,” will highlight Brandeis’ annual Festival of the Creative Arts, scheduled for April 28 through May 1. The Israeli-born Mendilow reinterprets centuries-old folk songs with influences from across the Middle East, Africa, South America and beyond.

Also among the guest artists this year will be the roving brass band What Cheer? Brigade and the Boston Hoop Troop, with performances and a hula hoop workshop for all ages. Boston’s beloved chalk artist, Sidewalk Sam, will make a return appearance.

An a cappella songfest, exhibitions by Brandeis faculty and students, and a concert by Brandeis’ celebrated Lydian String Quartet (see page 43) are also on the creative menu, along with a marathon of electronic music produced by the Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio (BEAMS) and a performance by the Brandeis Theater Company of a “Dog Meets God,” a dark adult parody about an eerily familiar comic strip character known as C.B. and his friends from the sandlot.

The annual festival was founded by Leonard Bernstein, one of America’s best-loved composers, in 1952, when he served on the music department faculty, and was later renamed in his honor.

“Today the arts festival honors Leonard Bernstein’s legacy as an educator, an activist and a humanitarian,” says Ingrid Schorr, producer of the four-day extravaganza. 
“Bernstein believed in the power of art to effect social change and engage young people, and we proudly carry on that tradition.”

On the final day of the festival, a Sunday, visitors from all over Greater Boston and beyond typically converge in Waltham for the culminating event, the Performing Arts Festival. This year, more than 100 actors, singers and musicians will offer free performances across the Brandeis campus, along with art-making activities and demonstrations for the whole family. For a complete schedule of events, visit