Join hundreds of performers, visual artists at Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts

This year's festival runs April 27 to 30. Featured artists include Jennie C. Jones, BIG NAZO and Mystic Paper Beasts theater troupe.

Cat Wagner

Featured artist Cat Wagner

Art takes over the Brandeis campus April 27 to 30 at this year’s Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts.

Dance, music, and theater performances will happen each night. Artwork created especially for the festival will appear in public spaces. And the campus welcomes guest artists from around the country and around the world.

This year's festival theme, “Sustainability,” honors artists’ unique ability to interpret the natural world. In the words of Leonard Bernstein: “[art] revives and readapts time and space,” making viewers reconsider their relationship to the environments that surround them.

All events are free and open to the public. Families will especially enjoy an afternoon of free short performances and activities on Sunday, April 30, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Featured artists:

  • Jennie C. Jones is a Brooklyn-based artist and 2017 Nathan and Ruth-Ann Perlmutter Artist-in-Residence who explores the intersection of art, black history and music, describing her work as “listening as a conceptual practice.” Performance and award presentation: Saturday, April 29, at 1 p.m.
  • BIG NAZO is an international performance group of visual artists, puppet performers and masked musicians who create hilarious larger-than-life sized characters. Meet BIG NAZO’s puppet performers on Sunday, April 30, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the Great Lawn.
  • Marya Ursin’s Mystic Paper Beasts theater troupe is known for its extraordinary collection of mythological masks and props that transform everyday objects into beasts, beings, tools and treasures. Marya leads a movement workshop for all ages on Sunday, April 30, at 2 p.m. in the Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room.

Featured events:

  •  “The Square,” a staged reading of acclaimed playwright Amy Merrill '69’s new play about the September 2007 events in Nisour Square, Baghdad and one vet's struggle to take a stand. Directed by Guy Ben-Aharon, producing artistic director of Israeli Stage. Saturday, April 26, 7 p.m. in the Merrick Theater, Spingold Theater Center; a post-show discussion follows the reading.
  • The eighth annual Brandeis Folk Festival, featuring gifted singer-songwriters from across the Northeast, including Lindsay Straw, Cold Weather Company, Jessy Tomsko, Rob Flax, and the Meadows Brothers. Saturday, April 26, from noon to 5 p.m. on the Great Lawn; lawn chairs and blankets welcome;
  • “Super Sunday,” April 30 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., packs over 25 arts, theater and music events into one afternoon. Most events are family-friendly, and all are free and open to the public. Highlights include workshops in West African dance and ballet, orchestra and klezmer performances, and a juggling-themed rendition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

For a complete schedule, visit the Festival of the Creative Arts website. Most events are accessible for people with physical disabilities and all are free and open to the public.    

Categories: Alumni, Arts, Student Life

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