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It is with profound joy — and a tinge of sadness — that we present the ninth edition of The Crimson Arts’ Year-in-Review.
As the first (and, hopefully, last) set of Arts chairs to begin their jobs virtually, we knew we had a difficult task ahead of us. The Arts Board of The Crimson prides itself on fostering a distinct sense of community, and it’s hard to maintain that same degree of endearing, unhinged banter over Zoom.
Hard, but not impossible.
Zoom production nights were just as efficient as in-person ones (that is, not very). We hosted Arts Dinner Dates and virtual Oscars watch parties. We never stopped sharing our favorite artistic depictions. Despite being thousands of miles apart, our community grew even stronger, and — amidst some of the darkest moments of this often-awful year — felt more like home than ever before.
And of course, in between the late night unhinged messages and Zooms that probably should have ended a few hours earlier, we did some work, too. This year, we published over 500 pieces, from personal essays about anime to reviews of Harry Styles. We covered the Cannes Film Festival, the Governors Ball, and the return of in-person theater to Harvard. We asked “What The Hell Happened?” — over and over and over again. We ranked every episode of “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” We opined about the flaws of color-blind casting. We wrote about the Super Bowl (and the Sports board didn’t). Our content received over 2.3 million pageviews: a resounding testament to the importance of arts journalism.
And of course, none of this would be possible without Jamie and Amanda, our fearless leaders; Ashley, our supremely talented (and unwaveringly patient) designer; Zing, Thomas, Andrew, and Cory, our multimedia team; and of course, Amelia, Connor, and Hunter — our rocks, our swiss army knives, our EALs. Thank you, for everything.
We are also forever indebted to the Chairs who came before us, who helped us fall in love with Arts and taught us everything we know about doing this crazy, exhausting, wonderful, magical job. To Caroline and Kaylee, thank you for welcoming us to Arts — first as compers and then as execs — for initiating us into the cult of Shrek, and for letting us sit at the cool kids’ table. To Ally and Iris, thank you for teaching us to take responsibility for the community and culture we create, and for sacrificing so much to leave this organization better than you found it.
Thanks, also, to our execs. We are in the privileged position of only having to proof articles once they are in their final stages of editing, after they’ve been cleaned and gutted and reassembled and polished by a world-class team of editors.
And last but not least, thank you to the staff writers. Every week, we find ourselves laughing or crying or lost in thought after reading your articles, astonished by your talent and wit and insight. Thank you for making Crimson Arts a part of your time at Harvard, and thank you for your dedication, your spirit, and your words.
Coming back to campus this semester felt, in many ways, like a new beginning, and as such, we find ourselves in the strange position of concluding our time as Arts Chairs just as we feel like we’re getting started. As we sit here, around the table on the south side of the Newsroom, surrounded by some of the kindest, wittiest, most talented people we know, approaching our fourth hour of fixing comma splices and adding square brackets, a feeling comes to mind — to quote Olaf in “Frozen II,” the cinematic masterpiece of our time: “Oh, how I wish this could last forever.”
But time stops for no man (except for us — because we both took gap years and will still be haunting The Crimson as jaded dino ghosts for a year and a half to come). As hard as it is to say goodbye, we could not be more confident in the people who will lead this community into its next chapter. Your brilliant instincts, creative ideas, and commitment to making this place more kind, equitable, and loving than you found it have kept us going through countless late-night meetings on Zoom and in the Newsroom. We are inexpressibly excited to see the new heights to which Jaden, Sofi, and the rest of the exec team will take the Arts board in the year to come, and are so grateful to have worked with you over the past year.
With every remaining ounce of our Arts-love,
Kalos K. Chu and Joy C. Ashford
Arts Chairs of the 148th Guard of The Harvard Crimson
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