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For more than two decades, the Boston College Arts Festival has been a popular and highly anticipated rite of spring on campus. The exception this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, is that the three-day event will be held virtually.

The University community will come together online to "Ignite Creativity," this year's Arts Festival theme.  

“This year’s festival has been re-imagined in a virtual space, where local and global communities can gather to experience the arts at Boston College,” organizers say. “During difficult times we turn to the arts, and artists are nothing if not adaptable, especially when facing challenges.”

Some 2,000 members of the University community typically participate in the festival, which highlights music, theater, dance, poetry, film, painting and sculpture, and the creative work of students, faculty, and others at the BC.

“Artists, in the most difficult of circumstances, continue to create,” said Associate Professor of Theatre and department chair Crystal Tiala, who also chairs Boston College’s Arts Council, which organizes the festival.

Organizers put out a call earlier this month to campus arts groups and students registered to participate, resulting in submissions of a wide array of creative content.

Through the Arts Festival website, the Arts Council's Instagram and Facebook accounts, and the newly launched BC Arts Journal, attendees will experience a range of creative expression by the BC groups, individuals, and classes that continued to create and connect through social distancing.

The festival will include recordings campus dance, a cappella, and other musical groups; visual arts highlights of paintings, drawings, photography, film, and more; highlights from “City of Angels,” which had been scheduled to be performed at Robsham Theater Arts Center this month; creative readings of fairy tales for children and readings from student works of fiction and non-fiction, among other features.

This year’s Student Art Award winners, who will be featured during the festival, include Conor Ancharski ’20; Jorge (Nico) Borbolla ’21; Marissa Caraballo ’20; Megan Ellis ’20; Anabel Johnson ’20; Darius Russell Kish ’21; Daniel Saillant ’20;  Gabriel Valle ’20; Ziyang Xiang ’20, and Ariel Lynch ’20, who will receive the Jeffery Howe Art History Award.

Both the faculty award and annual Boston College Arts Council Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement Alumni have been postponed until 2021.

Now more than ever, the world is interconnected through technological advancements and interdisciplinary developments, organizers says. Artists, they add, become a creative force, innovatively navigating this new complex reality.

“Art brings us together in solace and laughter even in the worst of times,” Tiala said. “During this pandemic, we are witness to artists coming together online all over the world. It is truly remarkable. And now with a virtual Arts Festival, the Boston College artists can also reunite online to bring joy and togetherness when we need it the most.”

Organized by the Arts Council, BC Arts Festival sponsors include the offices of the President and the Provost, the Arts Council committees, Student Affairs and the Dean’s Office of the Morrissey College of Arts and Sciences, with support from the Alumni Association, the Boston College Police Department, the Boston College Bookstore, and the numerous BC Facilities and grounds crew members.   

For more information and a full schedule, visit the 2020 Arts Festival website.

Rosanne Pellegrini | University Communications | April 2020