Arts Festival reimagined, virtually
The 22nd annual celebration of the arts will be held online April 23-25.
Annually on the last weekend in April, the Boston College Arts Festival brings the Boston College and surrounding communities together to celebrate the arts. From April 27-29, 2023, the 25th annual Arts Festival will once again invite the community to experience the variety of arts at Boston College!
With over 16,000 visitors from Boston College and the surrounding community coming in attendance, the Arts Festival never fails to be one of the most vibrant and exciting events at Boston College. Students have the added bonus of relieving end-of-semester stress, while members of the surrounding communities are given the opportunity to delight in all forms of art, from the laugh-out-loud humor offered by comedy groups, to the transcendent beauty of the many dance ensembles, to the boldness of the studio art students' work.
Highlighted at the spring's festival are the "BC's Best" competition, an Art Walk, and Dancing with bOp!. Other annual features include children's activities, literary readings, alumni events, student art work for sale, multi-cultural dance performances, and expanded hours at the McMullen Museum. Special guests at the festival have included Tracey Wigfield '05, Nick Scandalios '89, Chris Doyle '81, Anne Garefino '81, Robert Polito '73, Chuck Hogan '89 and Amy Poehler '93.
First Arts Festival
In the News
The 22nd annual celebration of the arts will be held online April 23-25.
BC Arts Festival highlights creative work from across campus; award-winning alumni poet C. Dale Young is this year's guest honoree.
New film by noted environmental photographer James Balog '74 explores the impact of humans on nature.
Professor of Art History Jeffery Howe reflects on four decades of arts evolution at the Heights.
A Q&A with BC's inaugural Calderwood Professors in Islamic and Asian Art, retiring this year.
The Boston College Arts Festival marks its 20th year with campus-wide events April 26-28.
Every year in April, the Boston College Arts Festival celebrates our rich campus arts scene.
Each year, the Boston College Arts Council recognizes an alumnus, a faculty member, and several students for their accomplishments and contributions to the arts in various disciplines. Alumni and faculty award recipients serve as role models, inspiring and guiding developing young artists in the Boston College community. The award recipients participate in programming at our annual campus-wide Arts Festival and interact in small-group settings with students in their fields. Student award recipients in sophomore, junior or senior years are recognized for their creativity and accomplishments, as well as for specific projects.
Kids love these hands-on activities facilitated by BC volunteers. Activities vary each year, but have included making tambourines, decorating masks and bookmarks, making pipecleaner 'monsters', sidewalk chalk, and decorating a pot to plant a seed in.
Boston College theatre classes and other campus ensembles have presented live performances for children to enjoy. Previous performances have included The Little Mermaid, "From Film to Broadway–The Songs of Disney," Shrek! The Musical, Peter and the Wolf, Nick of Time, The Princess Bride, Beauty and the Beast, and more.
Various student groups that perform at Arts Fest have lead 20-30 minute activities to engage kids in what they are passionate about. Children have been able to participate in mini-sessions on dance, singing, and improvisation. Every year the children and parents have loved being introduced to new styles of performance and art.
The Boston College Marching Band takes over green spaces to give children an opportunity to touch, feel, and play the instruments. This experience is for kids of all ages!
Boston College's Chamber Music Society performs beloved children's music and theater.
Getting to the Arts Festival by subway: Take the B branch of the MBTA Green Line to the Boston College terminus. Cross to the other side of Commonwealth Avenue and turn right. Walk up the hill (west) on Commonwealth Avenue to the main gate.
By car: Boston College's main campus is located on Commonwealth Avenue (Route 30) in Chestnut Hill, just west of the Boston-Newton line.
From points north and south: Take Interstate 95 (Route 128) to Exit 24 (Route 30). Proceed east on Route 30, also known as Commonwealth Avenue, and follow for about five miles to Boston College.
From points west: Take the Massachusetts Turnpike (Route 90) to Exit 17. At the first set of lights after the exit ramp, take a right onto Centre Street. Follow Centre Street to the fourth set of lights, and turn left onto Commonwealth Avenue. Follow Commonwealth Avenue 1-1/2 miles to Boston College.
From downtown Boston: Take the Massachusetts Turnpike (Route 90) to Exit 17. Take a left over the bridge after passing the Sheraton Tara Hotel. Take the first right onto Centre Street. Follow Centre Street to the fourth 1-1/2 miles to Boston College.
One hour parking is permitted, as posted, on Commonwealth Avenue.
Weekend parking at Boston College is $10 per every 12 hours from 5:00 p.m. on Friday until Monday at 2:00 a.m.
Visitor “Pay for Parking” is in effect from 2:00 a.m. Monday through 5:00 p.m. Friday. The first twenty minutes are FREE, and visitors pay $6.00 per hour after that, with a $28.00 daily maximum.
Each garage has a pay station. Payments may be made with cash, Visa or MasterCard.
To enter Lower Campus from Commonwealth Avenue from Downtown Boston: Turn left at the light just before the Boston College Green Line T Stop. (The T stop and Lake Street will be on your right; St. Ignatius Church will be ahead on your left.) Take the next right, towards the security guard station. Follow this road to the parking garage, which will be on your right. After parking, exit on foot from the top of the garage (level 7) and turn left. The main tent of the Arts Festival is straight ahead on the plaza in front of O'Neill Library.
To enter Lower Campus from points west: Continue past the main gates of the college and down the hill to the light (The T Stop and Lake Street will be on your left; St. Ignatius Church will be on your right.) Turn right at the light. Take the next right, towards the security guard station. Follow this road to the parking garage, which will be on your right. After parking exit on foot from the top of the garage (level 7) and turn left. The main tent of the Arts Festival is straight ahead on the plaza in front of O'Neill Library. Click here for direction in PDF format.
Activities are designed for elementary aged children and preschoolers will certainly be able to participate. Older children are sure to be entertained by the dance and a cappella showcases, as well as other performances and art installations.
All activities are free. Food can be purchased at the festival.
Bathroom facilities are located in Stokes Hall, Gasson Hall, Devlin Hall, and the O'Neill Library – the four buildings surrounding Stokes Lawn and O'Neill Plaza.
In the event of inclement weather, all outdoor activities will still take place at an indoor location. Rain or shine, we always have fun.
Once you get to the festival site, everything is very close and stroller-accessible. Depending on where you park, there may be 5-10 minutes of walking. With small children, we recommend parking in the Commonwealth Avenue garage and taking the elevator to the 7th floor. From there, the walk is about three minutes.
Children’s Activities run from 11am to 2:00 p.m. on the Saturday of the festival. Each crafts activity is set up separately, so you can choose to do some and not others - depending on the amount of time you want to spend. Check the schedule to find out when our Children’s programming is happening. There are continuing performances from 11 to 3:30 p.m. in the main tent and the art exhibitions can be explored all day.