Performers at the 2018 Arts Festival. (Lee Pellegrini)

Award-winning poet, writer, editor, physician, and educator C. Dale Young '91 will return to his alma mater as the special guest and alumni honoree at Boston College’s 21st annual Arts Festival, which runs from April 25-27. 

Young will be at the festival on April 26 to take part in a career-related interview program titled "Inside the BC Studio" with Professor of English Suzanne Matson (2:30 p.m., Stokes Art Tent) and receive the annual Boston College Arts Council Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement (4:30 p.m., Gasson 100). 

In addition to showcasing Young’s achievements, the festival will highlight the depth and breadth of campus arts—including music, theater, dance, poetry, film, painting, and sculpture—and the creative work of students, faculty, and others at the University; some 1,900 members of the University community participated in last year’s festival. Open to the public, community members are invited to attend the festival, which includes a variety of programming for all ages, most free of charge.

C. Dale Young

Poet C. Dale Young will be presented with the Boston College Arts Council Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement.

Festival-goers can listen to student musicians presenting original works in a variety of genres at the "Battle of the Bands" and "Singer Songwriter" competitions, or take in performances that demonstrate the range of cultural expression in BC's artistic community. A variety of music, dance, and theater ensembles will be on stage each afternoon. Highlighting children and family-oriented entertainment on April 27 will be a production "Beauty of the Beast" performed by BC students in the Theatre for Youth Class (noon-1 p.m., O’Neill Plaza Tent) and "Songs of Disney," a concert by the Chamber Music Society (2:30, Gasson 100).  

"Artistic work grows and changes with the world around us. While Boston College artists continue to demonstrate expertise in traditional, cultural, and socially minded work, we are also expanding to include more technology and interdisciplinary work," said Theatre Department Chair and Associate Professor Crystal Tiala, who also chairs Boston College’s Arts Council, which organizes the festival. "This year be sure to check out the giant LED screen featuring new digital content on the main stage or watch for new design thinking workshops in collaboration with the Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society. You can find creative thinkers and artists in all corners of our campus."

In collaboration with the Office of the Provost and Dean of Faculties, the festival—whose theme this year is "Infinite Expressions"—features events on the processes of creative innovation through design thinking, 3D prototyping, and storytelling. Among these events is Stories by (Design + Thinking) @BC, a storytelling "fireside chat" of innovative projects and ongoing initiatives at Boston College using design thinking.  

Other festival attractions include "MAKE: Rapid Visualization and Prototyping," a workshop demonstrating art and design techniques for prototyping ideas, on April 26 on the fourth floor of Devlin Hall (time TBA), and "Night of the Arts," a celebration of the School of Theology and Ministry 10th anniversary, on April 25 at 7 p.m. in the Atrium Gallery of the Theology and Ministry Library on Brighton Campus.

The main performance tent is on the Plaza at O'Neill Library. The Art Tent and Stokes Lawn are also the site of children's activities and a smaller stage for more intimate performances, displays, and receptions, including the "Inside the BC Studio" interview with Young. A faculty member in the Warren Wilson College MFA Program for Writers who practices medicine full-time, he is the author of a novel in stories, The Affliction, and four collections of poetry, most recently The Halo. Young is a recipient of fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the National Endowment for the Arts, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, and the 2017-18 recipient of the Hanes Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers.

Young’s poetry and short fiction have appeared in many anthologies and magazines, including The Best American Poetry, Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, American Poetry Review, The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New Republic, The Paris Review, and POETRY. Young’s artistic and professional development at BC included a double major in English and biology, and involvement with the student literary magazine Stylus and the campus radio station, WZBC.  

Others to be honored at the festival this year include Theatre Department Associate Professor John Houchin, who has directed numerous full-length productions at Boston College, as well as 10-minute plays for the Boston Theatre Marathon, Playwrights Platform, and staged readings of several new plays in Boston. With his wife, choreographer Pam Newton, he created "Dreaming Shakespeare," a devised performance piece based on Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets. 

Boston College seniors being recognized for their artistic achievements are Changgyu (Derek) Cho, Ryan W. Gardner, Jayhyun (Michael) Oh, Siqi (Vicky) Zhang, and Cecilia Russell Christman, who will receive the Jeffery Howe Art History Award. 

The Arts Festival received a Music Drives Us Performance Grant based on the music programming throughout the festival.

Festival information, including dates, times, and locations, is available at the Arts Festival website


—Rosanne Pellegrini | University Communications | April 2019