About The BU Arts Initiative
The Boston University Arts Initiative ensures that the arts are fundamental to the student experience by developing and supporting university-wide programs to advance the role of the arts at BU through building community; supporting interdisciplinary arts teaching, learning, and research; and highlighting diverse artists and modes of artistry. We are proud to be a part of the Community & Inclusion team of the Office of the Provost.
- Raise the visibility of and bring recognition to the breadth and excellence of the arts at BU
- Increase student access to and engagement with the arts at BU and in the Boston area, so that BU students develop an active and participatory role in the arts as a meaningful element of their BU experience
- Deepen integration of the arts into the curriculum and faculty development of high quality, interdisciplinary, inclusive arts programming
- Support initiatives that build community by engaging individuals in the practice of, participation in, and intellectual dialogue around art and art making
- Encourage meaningful opportunities for the BU community and the Boston area community to connect via the arts
For more information about the BU Arts Initiative’s programming and impact, see our past annual reports.
While we collaborate and partner with many offices and departments across the university for specific programs, there are a few offices whose vision and priorities align deeply with ours and with whom we frequently collaborate and consult; those include: Diversity & Inclusion, Student Wellbeing, Innovate@BU, The Newbury Center, and the Initiative on Cities, check out the fantastic work of each of these programs.
Our Programs & Resources
Each semester, we partner with faculty to present artist residency events. These events are planned in full partnership with the faculty, and programming is deeply embedded in the academic mission of the university, interdisciplinary, and usually engage multiple schools and programs within the university.
Student Community & Wellbeing Programs
We have an active group of student leaders that make up our Student Advisory Council who work with our staff to develop programs that build community and support student wellbeing. The council has three committees who plan student led events. The Special Events committee plans our First Friday events and Study Breaks which are casual opportunities to do something creative, relax, and meet new people and are announced on FB and Instagram. The Arts Insiders committee plans small group trips to arts events off campus (space for each event is limited so be sure to sign up for the Arts Insiders notices.) Art for 5 offers $5 student tickets to unique regional arts events like touring musicals, Van Gogh Immersive Experience, and more. And the Galleries committee who plan student exhibits in our office suite.
Programming and Research Grants
BU Global Music Festival
The BU Global Music Festival is annual celebration of musical cultures around the world featuring high-caliber, international artists as well as vibrant local musical communities, bringing the wider musical world to the doorstep of thousands of students, adults, young people, and families throughout the Boston area.
Student Memberships & Discounts
We’ve made sure BU students have affordable—and in many cases free—access to the best of Boston’s art scene, including FREE access to the Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Harvard Art Museums and the Institute of Contemporary Art, as well as the Boston Symphony Orchestra (when open and available).
Fall Arts Fair
Each fall we coordinate an event to showcase arts programs and events at BU. Check out the participants from this Fall’s 2022 Arts Fair on Friday, September 4th from 11am-1pm.
Every year we bring over 3 dozen Boston area arts organizations, BU programs and BU student groups together to share their programming and involve students in the arts on & off campus.
BU First Year Passport to the Arts
First-year undergraduate BU Students can pick up a passport at the BU Arts Initiative office suite. Students can usse this passport to track your attendance at five or more arts events this semester. Completed passports will be entered into a lottery for prizes at the end of the semester.
Weekly Arts at BU Notices
Sign up to receive an email every Wednesday night with a list of on campus arts events and other news for Thursday through the following Sunday. That is 10-days of events for you to check out on BU’s campus and beyond!
HUB cocurricular 133 - The Individual, Community, and the Arts
Students explore the role of the arts in their personal lives, at BU, and in the Boston area, and how the arts contribute to personal and community development in HUB CC 133.
Additional Faculty and Staff Support and Discounts
Exhibition and Performance Opportunities
Check out the variety of opportunities for student musicians and student, faculty, staff, and alumni visual art exhibitions.
Public Art at BU
Boston University is proud to be the home of more than two dozen public art installations, including one of our newest installations from Carson Fox, as well as work from noted Chilean Sculptor Sergio Castillo, Alum Russel Jacques, mason Edward Monti, and sculptor and photographer Gregg Lefevre.
Check out our Public Art page to explore temporary and permanent work on each of BU’s campuses.
College of Arts & Sciences Writing —Boston Now
Our partnership with CAS Writing supports the expansion of the Boston Now program, which includes a number of courses that use the arts as topics for the teaching of writing skills.
Our Antiracist, Inclusive, and Social Justice Commitments
- Our staff, student advisory council, and the BU Arts Council will be comprised of diverse individuals representing a variety of disciplines, racial/ethnic heritage, life experience, and ability
- We will develop programs that respond to or address social justice issues and hire artists whose identity and practice represent the full spectrum of humanity and the BU community
- Our programs will supplement and inform an antiracist curriculum
- Our programs will decenter whiteness
- Our programs will be free or very low cost for all students and we will promote our resources and events widely through a variety of channels on campus including identity based campus organizations and programs
- Our programs and communications will model inclusive practices in access, design, language, and content
- We will provide programming and opportunities that build community and support a sense of belonging for BIPOC and queer students
- We will regularly assess these practices and seek appropriate input on improving
Managing Director: Dr. Ty Furman
Program Administrator: Ivy Buena
Administrative Coordinator: Elana Harris
Graduate Assistant: Merritt Kramer
Office Assistants: Emma Iversen, Tajrir Tahtial