In the wake of a sledding injury earlier this month which has rendered Harvard’s top arts official unable to work for several months, the Office for the Arts (OFA) said its programming would continue uninterrupted.
OFA Director Jack Megan fell off a sled earlier this month and broke several bones on his right side while playing with his children at his home in Concord, Mass., according to Cathleen D. McCormick, director of programs at the OFA.
Although officials said the OFA’s operations will continue without interruption, students said they were upset that Megan, who is a much beloved figure within the arts world at Harvard, could be absent for several months.
After two operations at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Megan is in stable condition, but colleagues said his recovery may take some time.
“He’s fighting this,” said Memorial Hall director Eric Engel, who works with Megan. “My concern is that he gives himself time he needs, rather than push himself to get back.”
But Engel said that Megan will continue to work from his hospital bed.
“He’s an incredibly determined person,” he said. “I have no doubt that he’ll be actively involved long before he’s physically present.”
OFA officials said they are prepared to compensate for his absence.
McCormick said that she and Engel will serve as acting heads of the OFA for as long as necessary.
She said the OFA will continue its planned programming, like a visit next month from Boys Choir of Harlem, and its ongoing projects—such as fighting for dance’s continued use of the Rieman Center.
Dean of the College Harry R. Lewis ’68 wrote in an e-mail that the OFA was in good hands.
“I don’t think students will notice any difference in the OFA’s services and programs,” he said. “Everything is going forward without a hitch under their leadership.”
But students said that Megan’s enthusiasm and vision for the arts at Harvard during his two year tenure have had a profound impact on them.
Megan attends four or five student shows a week, students said.
After learning of his accident, the cast and crew of one recent student show in the Loeb Drama Center wrote Megan a get-well card.
Former Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club President Daniel A. Cozzens ’03 said that Megan had worked with him to hire professional directors and producers for student shows.
“Jack was starting initiatives that were going places,” he said. “Not having Jack as active behind several of these initiatives will be tough.”
Cozzens said that students would have to compensate for Megan’s temporary absence.
“The important thing is for student leaders of artistic groups to step up and try to do some of the thinking he would be doing on his projects,” Cozzens said. “They need to try to dedicate more of their time on these projects—that Jack would have spent.”
McCormick said that the OFA’s large staff will be able to assist students with “ideas, problems, initiatives, or…advice” in Megan’s absence.
“We have an excellent staff that can help students in any way, effectively and immediately,” McCormick said.
—Staff writer Hana R. Alberts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.