Roving Reporter: Harvard Student Late Night

By Grace Z. Li

Last Thursday night on Sept. 13, the lights at the Harvard Art Museums stayed on a little longer as hundreds of students attended Harvard Student Late Night. From 8 to 10 p.m., students were given free reign to listen to the live DJ, enjoy quality food and drinks, enter raffles to rent museum art prints, and, of course, look at art, including a recently opened special exhibit  “Animal-Shaped Vessels from the Ancient World: Feasting with Gods, Heroes, and Kings.” Since its inception in 2015, the event has proven massively popular with Harvard students from every field whether it was their first or their tenth time in the museum.

Ahmed O. Abukar ’22, student

Roving Reporter: How do you feel about the special exhibit Animal Shaped Vessels?

AOA: I think it’s really interesting. They show a variety of forms, and I always liked the appearance of things people would consider more common like eating and drinking vessels. When you see something like this rather than a statue, you think, “Somebody used this,” which brings you back to that time.

RR: What do you appreciate about Harvard Student Late Night?

AOA: Having the Harvard Late Night gives people the opportunity to experience something they’ve never experienced before.

Or C. Eisenberg ’20 and Rosan Bishwakarma ’20, students

RR: Is this your first time at Harvard Student Late Nights?

OCE: First time.

RB: For me it’s my second time. I’ve been almost every year. I really like the events, but I think the museum in general is an underutilized resource. A lot of people still don’t know about it. It’s a really nice study space because of the cafe and lighting. I’m not very knowledgeable about art, but it helps me slow down to spend 10 minutes between classes wandering around looking at beautiful art.

RR: What brought you to the event?

RB: The print rental. The lottery for that. I’ve been wanting to rent a piece of art since I came here, but I always forgot about it. Now is the time to do it.

RR: What do you appreciate about Harvard Student Late Night?

RB: Generally, I really like having events like these where you can catch up with friends you haven’t seen in a long time. You see quite a few familiar faces, even though that may not be the primary reason you came here, but then you stay and catch up.

Cemicoke Giwa, Zamzam A. Mohammed, and Narissa Nairu, Harvard Law LL.M students

RR: What brought you to this event?

CG: Facebook.

NN: I just followed my friends.

ZAM: And also [advertisements] on the shuttle! On the bus!

CG: I also found out on WhatsApp.

RR: Is this your first time at the Harvard Art Museums?

NN: Yes, but invite us to other events. We’ll come to all of them.

ZAM: I was telling all of them. I didn’t know any of this existed.

NN: From the outside, it doesn’t look like much.

CG: I found it perchance, one day I was lost, and there it was.

Erin L. Northington, Manager of Student Engagement Programs

RR: How does Harvard Student Late Night relate to the mission of the Harvard Art Museums?

ELN: Students are at the heart of what we do at the museum. We constantly think about how we incorporate students into all aspects of the museum. Having events like this to open our doors to the broader Harvard student community is completely key to what we do. We bring in new audiences, people who have never visited the gallery before. It helps them kick off the semester and see the museum in a new way.

RR: Do you view the rising popularity and attendance of Harvard Late Nights as a success?

ELN: This is something we are very excited by. The more the merrier. We learn so much from students. The broader and bigger and more diverse our community is, the more that our work is growing and changing and moving forward. We would not be where we are at all without a more engaged student community.

—Staff writer Mason P. Sands can be reached at

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