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FACES: Who We Are

By Matthew C. Stone, Contributing Writer

April 29, 2010

8:00 p.m.

It’s not often that the arts at Harvard cater to freshmen exclusively, but a new program called the Freshman Arts Collaborative Experience Showcase (FACES) hopes to do just that. FACES brings together seven members of the Class of 2013 in a collaborative environment to create an original exhibition for Arts First weekend.

The diverse group of freshman artists involved with FACES has spent the spring semester creating a unique, interdisciplinary showcase of artwork. The event—titled “Who We Are”—focuses on the theme of identity, and will run on April 29 and 30 in the Ticknor Lounge in Boylston Hall.

The program’s creator, Rory Michelle Sullivan ’09—a freshman proctor and Graduate School of Education student—led the seven students of FACES throughout the semester. Sullivan says she conceived the program in the hope of creating a space for collaborative artistic exploration where students could hone their skills and also learn about other arts forms.

“The idea of FACES was... not to stick disparate art forms together, one on top of the other, but to really teach and learn from each other and meld the art forms together into something greater than each individual part,” Sullivan wrote in an email.

After an application process in the fall, the freshmen involved in FACES spent much of the second semester participating in what Sullivan calls “community-building arts workshops,” creating work to be presented at the Arts First showcase. The end product will be a unique event, according to Sullivan: “It will be a multimedia living art exhibit of music, acrobatics, photography, film, painting, and live performance exploring the concept of identity.”

Through this study of identity, the students have developed significantly, according to Sullivan. “Freshmen often don’t have a chance to be in charge of this much of such a large undertaking,” she writes. “Since each of the FACES team members co-creates and is in charge of a significant aspect of a large project, seven new arts leaders have been created.”

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